Israel critic Josep Borrell to be replaced as EU’s foreign policy chief


 European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell attends a press conference on the day of EU-Ukraine Association Council in Brussels, Belgium March 20, 2024. (photo credit: REUTERS/YVES HERMAN)

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy who has been frequently critical of Israel in its war with Hamas and escalating tensions with Hezbollah, is set to be replaced by Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, according to reports from Friday.

The Jewish News Syndicate described Borrell’s tenure in his position being “marked by constant attacks on the Jewish state.”

His replacement, on the other hand, has gone on record as being supportive of Israel following the October 7 Hamas massacre. Kallas also posted on X, formerly Twitter, in April where she “deplored in the strongest possible terms Iran’s unjustified attack against Israel,” describing it as an “escalation putting more lives at risk.”

She supports a two-state-solution and has previously spoken extensively about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, but also emphasized Israel’s right to self-defense, Ynet reported.

Harsh critic of Russia

Reports describe Kallas’s foreign policy, however, as being a harsh critic of Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, noting that “Israel’s success in intercepting Iran’s attack shows the power of cooperation and help from partners” in a message to other EU leaders in what she describes “will defeat Russian aggression.”

Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas takes part in a press conference during a European Union leaders’ summit in Brussels, Belgium June 28, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/YVES HERMAN)

The Kremlin said that the outlook for EU-Russia ties was bad after EU leaders nominated Ursula von der Leyen for another term as European Commission president and picked Estonia’s Kallas as the next EU foreign policy chief.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Kallas was known for her anti-Russian rhetoric.

“Mrs Kallas has not demonstrated any diplomatic inclinations so far either, and is well known in our country for her absolutely intransigent and sometimes even openly anti-Russian statements,” he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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