US must pressure Israel, says SPD leader

11th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 January 2005, BERLIN - A senior member of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats called on Tuesday on the US to exert pressure on Israel aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Gernot Erler, the Social Democratic (SPD) deputy parliamentary leader in charge of foreign policy, was asked by WDR Radio whether it was more important to put pressure on the new Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas to end terrorism or on Sharon. Erler replied: "I think that pressure must come from Amer

11 January 2005

BERLIN - A senior member of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats called on Tuesday on the US to exert pressure on Israel aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Gernot Erler, the Social Democratic (SPD) deputy parliamentary leader in charge of foreign policy, was asked by WDR Radio whether it was more important to put pressure on the new Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas to end terrorism or on Sharon.

Erler replied: "I think that pressure must come from America aimed at Sharon. This is the only pressure that can achieve anything..."

In a separate interview with the Northwest Zeitung newspaper, Erler called on Israel to allow Palestinian forces to be armed with what he termed "effective weapons".

"As long as Abbas lacks strong security forces which do not have appropriate weapons it is totally unrealistic to expect an end to terrorist attacks," he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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