Israel, Palestinians must show 'courage': Merkel, Mubarak
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and visiting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday called on Israel and the Palestinians to show "courage and creativity" in their peace talks.
"Germany and Egypt see a rare opportunity in these negotiations for progress in the peace process and encourage the two parties to use this opportunity with courage and creativity," said a joint statement.
During their two-hour meeting Merkel and Mubarak said they were following the talks with "great interest" as "the end of the moratorium on (new) settlements" neared on September 26.
Direct talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas resumed in Washington on September 2 and have continued at various levels since.
The dispute over the Israeli settlements in the West Bank has threatened to undermine the fledgling efforts by the United States to revive the peace talks after their official launch in Washington following a nearly two-year hiatus.
The Palestinians have repeatedly demanded that Israel extend a 10-month freeze on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, which expires this weekend, in order for the talks to continue.
© 2010 AFP