Germany urges Israel, Palestinians to resume talks

12th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Monday negotiations were the only way to ensure Israel's security as well as an independent state for the Palestinians.

"Germany wants Israel to live within safe and secure borders. It also wants a viable independent state for the Palestinians," the state-run Petra news agency quoted Westerwelle as saying during a meeting with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh.

"Achieving this requires negotiations and not confrontation."

Palestinian-Israeli peace talks ground to a halt last September after the expiry of a temporary ban on settlement building, which Israel refused to renew.

Westerwelle was to meet later on Monday with Jordan's King Abdullah II before leaving for Israel for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

"We hope there will be a unified European position on the Palestinian bid in the United Nations," Petra quoted Westerwelle as saying.

The Palestinians intend to seek full membership of the United Nations later this month and were meeting in Cairo with Arab League ministers on Monday to discuss whether to make their request to the Security Council or to the General Assembly.

Westerwelle met with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Amman on Sunday, urging him to tread carefully in the UN bid, warning that such a strategy could ultimately harm peace efforts.

© 2011 AFP

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