German politician says Israel could join EU in 15 years
The European Parliament president called recently for Israel to have a ‘privileged partnership’ with the EU -- a step that falls short of membership in the bloc.Berlin -- A senior German politician called on Thursday for Israel to become a member of the European Union and said it could be part of the 27-member club within 15 years.
Gert Weisskirchen, foreign affairs spokesman for the Social Democrats -- junior partner in Germany's coalition government -- told the Hamburger Abendblatt daily: "I would very much like Israel to be a full EU member."
"Entry could be conceivable in 15 years," he added.
Nevertheless, he said there were still conditions that Israel would have to fulfil before becoming a member.
"First, the country must guarantee a two-state solution" to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, he said. "Second, there would have to be a political will in Israel to become a member of the EU."
European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering recently called for Israel to have a "privileged partnership" with the European Union -- a step that falls short of membership in the bloc.
But Weisskirchen rejected this notion, saying: "I do not think much of privileged partnership. There should be either full membership of the European Union or a process that leads to full membership."
"Given its very close ties to Europe, Israel is already a sort of privileged partner of the EU," he added.