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Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Discuss Middle East

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: DEgov}









“Everyone must help de-escalate the situation,” says Chancellor

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have met to discuss the current situation in the Middle East. Violence in Israel has escalated recently. Angela Merkel stressed that all sides must help de-escalate the situation. She expressed her deepest sympathy for the victims of terrorist attacks in Israel.

The two-state solution is the best way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, says the Chancellor

“This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries, and we had hoped that these government consultations would take place against a more peaceful backdrop,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel when Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Berlin on Wednesday evening. In view of the fraught security situation and spiralling violence she hoped, “that all sides will help de-escalate the situation.”

In recent weeks clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank have escalated. Many lives have been lost following knife attacks on passers-by in Israel. Israeli security forces have killed several of the attackers. Gaza and the West Bank have also seen outbreaks of violence.

Sympathy for the victims of terror attacks

“I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the victims of terrorist attacks in Israel,” said the Chancellor, and added, “At the same time I would like to make it quite clear that Israel does of course have a duty to protect its own citizens.” It is important that security measures are proportionate though, she said.

The Chancellor declared that we are “still convinced that a two-state solution” would offer the best prospects for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Angela Merkel also pointed out that young Palestinians in particular must be given prospects in order to prevent violence erupting. “We in Germany, but I can say the same for the entire European Union, are willing to help and provide support for talks, and to do our bit.”

“Situation must be defused,” says Frank-Walter Steinmeier

On Thursday, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had a series of talks, meeting one after another with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. All talks focused on the security situation in the Middle East.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for moderation on the part of Israelis and Palestinians alike in the Middle East conflict. “We are extremely concerned about the current situation,” he said following his meeting with the EU High Representative. The Federal Foreign Minister stressed that he stands by his call on both sides to do everything they can to defuse the situation around the Temple Mount.

Israel has every right to protect its people from attacks, said the German Federal Foreign Minister. Both sides must “now avoid any action which would further aggravate tensions. A sense of proportion is vital in all action taken at this time,” stressed Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He called for an end to the silence between the two sides and for “the re-launch of a political process which creates prospects of a lasting solution to the conflict”.


[photo credits: “Israel-2013(2)-Aerial-Jerusalem-Temple Mount-Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock (SE exposure)” by Godot13 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –]



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