17 December 2003
JERUSALEM – Visiting German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer met separately on Wednesday with the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers to discuss ways of reviving the troubled peace process.
“We talked about how to move forward and restart the peace process and bring terror and violence to an end,” he told reporters after talks with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia in Ramallah.
He added that a meeting between Qureia and his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon would be “an important step”.
Efforts to arrange a meeting between the two leaders have so far proven fruitless, as the sides are unable to agree on an agenda for the parley.
The international “road map” for peace plan, which has been adopted by both sides, has been deadlocked since mid-August, when a ceasefire collapsed after a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 23 people in Jerusalem and Israel assassinated a militant leader in Gaza two days later.
The plan, launched amid much fanfare in June this year, envisioned a Palestinian state with temporary borders by the end of this year, and with permanent borders by 2005.
Both sides, however, have yet to implement the first phase of the plan. Fischer is scheduled to return to Germany later in the evening.
Subject: German news