PRESIDENT ABBAS IN BERLIN – Both peoples are entitled to live in peace
“We need positive impetus to preserve the two-state solution,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel when she met with Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. She stated that she can see no practicable alternative to this solution. Angela Merkel praised Palestinian achievements in the field of state-building, and pledged further support.
One year after his last visit, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, met with Chancellor Angela Merkel in BerlinPhoto: Bundesregierung/Steins
Click Image to watch Video at source
Both the Israeli and the Palestinian people are entitled to live in peace and security, declared Chancellor Angela Merkel. No other option can credibly guarantee this. That makes it imperative that the option of implementing a two-state solution remain on the table, she said.
“Those who are calling for the annexation of more Palestinian territory should be aware that a Jewish and democratic state cannot be preserved in the long term in this way,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Germany and its partners are convinced that an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state, that can live side by side with Israel in peace and security, can only be achieved through negotiations. Only a negotiated two-state solution can meet the legitimate demands of both sides and finally end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Settlement activities are counterproductive, says Angela Merkel. Since then there have been positive developments, but some trends that have emerged are worrying, said the Chancellor.
The settlements in the occupied territories are illegal under international law, said Angela Merkel. They are an obstacle to resolving the conflict. She is thus deeply concerned to see the developments on the West Bank, which would lead to an erosion of the very foundations of a two-state solution, she said.
The Chancellor explained that Palestinians need the right to social and economic development. This is the only way to counter the radicalisation of young people in particular in the Palestinian territories.
The Palestinian Authority has achieved a great deal, said Angela Merkel, and added that she would also be talking with Mahmoud Abbas about how to preserve these achievements. A functioning administration has been put in place, along with reliable municipal structures, and a functional police force. These are not self-evident, but they are indispensable preconditions for further development, she said.
With the national development agenda, the Palestinian Authority has taken another huge step forward in the field of state-building. The German government is still ready and willing to support the Palestinian Authority in implementing this agenda.
Mahmoud Abbas thanked the Chancellor for her political, material and moral support. German assistance, he said, is making it possible to build state institutions, on the basis of the rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights. In spite of all the obstacles faced, a great deal has already been achieved in these fields, he reported.
German government urges dialogue
The Chancellor stressed that the German government has repeatedly urged the two sides to talk to one another. Violence and stirring up hatred lead in precisely the opposite direction and must be unequivocally condemned. The German government does not believe that denouncing Israel unilaterally is a very promising way of moving forward toward the desired end.
German engagement in the Palestinian territories goes back a long way. The German government is one of the largest bilateral donors. Bilateral relations have been stepped up significantly in recent years, with a special focus on political dialogue and concrete cooperation on institution building, infrastructure concentrating on the water sector, culture and education.
Since the 1980s, development cooperation has been an important part of Germany’s engagement in the Palestinian territories. The aim is to improve living conditions and create development opportunities for all Palestinians.
Friday, 24 March 2017