Germany hopeful on Palestinian two-state deal

28th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 June 2006, BERLIN - German officials expressed cautious optimism Wednesday over endorsement by the Palestinian Hamas movement of a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel but warned both sides to prevent any escalation of current violence.

28 June 2006

BERLIN - German officials expressed cautious optimism Wednesday over endorsement by the Palestinian Hamas movement of a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel but warned both sides to prevent any escalation of current violence.

"We have at least a small sign of hope that both sides have come nearer," said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaking at news conference with his Italian counterpart Massimo D'Alema.

Steinmeier termed the two-state document between Hamas and the Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas as "astonishing".

Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief spokesman told reporters that Berlin was deeply concerned over developments in Gaza in connection with kidnapping of an Israeli soldier.

"We call on both sides to exercise restraint," said spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm who praised Abbas for having shown "strength of leadership" in clinching the deal.

Steinmeier called on Abbas to help win the release of the Israeli soldier.

Neither Steinmeier nor Wilhelm would directly comment on ongoing Israeli military operations in the Palestinian Territories.

DPA

Subject: German news

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