Steinmeier wants recognition of Israel

22nd February 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 February 2007, Berlin (dpa) - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Thursday that the planned Palestinian unity government must recognize the principles laid down by the Mideast Quartet mediating group. These include recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence and acceptance of previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements, Steinmeier said after talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin. "There is virtually no other way to achieve a two-state solution," Steinmeier said on beh

23 February 2007

Berlin (dpa) - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Thursday that the planned Palestinian unity government must recognize the principles laid down by the Mideast Quartet mediating group.

These include recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence and acceptance of previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements, Steinmeier said after talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin.

"There is virtually no other way to achieve a two-state solution," Steinmeier said on behalf of the EU presidency, which is currently held by Germany.

The Palestinian leader, who flew in from London, is looking for an endorsement of the power-sharing agreement his Fatah party concluded with the radical Hamas movement in Mecca on February 8.

Abbas said the deal achieved the important goal of halting months of bloodshed between the rival Palestinian factions.

"We guarantee that the vision of two states is binding for us - the vision of an independent Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel," he said.

He said Palestinians would also adhere to the principle of renouncing violence and respecting agreements signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel, but did not specify if this applied to Hamas.

Abbas also called for an end to the economic boycott imposed by the world's major donors on the Palestinian Authority in the wake of Hamas' sweeping victory in general elections held in January 2006.

The Palestinian leader is on a tour to drum up support for the new unity government, which is expected to be formed next month. He is due to confer with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday then fly to Paris before continuing on to Algeria and the Gulf states.

Steinmeier praised Abbas' efforts to maintain a dialogue with Israel and his role in seeking to bring stability to the Palestinian territories.

Abbas met Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert earlier this week, but Israel has refused to deal with the planned government unless it recognizes the Jewish state.

The Mideast Quartet, which groups the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union, said after a meeting in Berlin on Wednesday that it supports "a Palestinian government committed to non-violence and recognition of Israel."

Under the Saudi-brokered Mecca deal, Hamas agreed to "respect" past agreements with Israel, but did not commit itself to renouncing the use of force or extending recognition to the Jewish state.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article