Germany supports Bush Mideast initiative
17 July 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Germany on Tuesday welcomed US President George W Bush's new Mideast initiative calling for an international conference to explore ways of creating a Palestinian state.
17 July 2007
Berlin (dpa) - Germany on Tuesday welcomed US President George W Bush's new Mideast initiative calling for an international conference to explore ways of creating a Palestinian state.
Government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said Germany supported the goal of laying the foundation for "a successful Palestinian state" with which peace talks could be conducted.
A two-state solution in the Middle East needs a viable Palestinian state with an effective government, solid finances, a functioning economy and a society based on law and justice, he said.
Ulrich said former British prime minister Tony Blair had an important role to play as the representative of the Mideast Quartet, made up of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia.
Blair was picked last month by the quartet to help the Palestinians build up their institutions and promote international political and economic support.
In his initiative announced Monday, Bush said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would chair a conference in the autumn that would consist primarily of the Israelis and Palestinians as well as Middle East countries committed to a two-state solution to the conflict.
Bush announced 190 million dollars in direct aid to the Palestinian government led by prime minister-designate Salam Fayyad and 80 million dollars for security.
The German spokesman said Chancellor Angela Merkel planned to speak by telephone with Fayyad later Tuesday to offer her support for steps taken by his government to push ahead with the peace process.
Bush announced his plan hours after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met in Jerusalem.
Bush has sought to bolster Abbas' moderate Fatah government since the beleaguered Palestinian leader ousted Hamas from the government after the radical group seized control of Gaza.
Bush's speech signalled his intention to proceed with backing an independent Palestinian state despite the division of the Palestinian territories into Fatah's rule in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.
Subject: German news