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EU top diplomat Borrell urges Israel to disavow minister's comments on Palestinians

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell takes part in an EU Foreign Ministers' meeting, in Brussels, Belgium March 20, 2023. REUTERS/Johanna Geron

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on Monday on the Israeli government to disavow a minister's comments that there was no Palestinian history or culture and no such thing as a Palestinian people.

Borrell told reporters in Brussels that Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich's comments "certainly cannot be tolerated".

"I call on the Israeli government to disavow those comments and to start working together with all parties to defuse tensions," Borrell said.

"I have to deplore these unacceptable comment by Minister Smotrich. It is wrong, it is disrespectful, it is dangerous, it is counter-productive to say this kind of things in a situation which is already tense," he added.

(Reporting by Andrew Gray and Sabine Siebold; Edited by Benoit Van Overstraeten)

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