Merkel pushes for Israeli-Palestinian peace talk progress | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 19.01.2012
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Merkel pushes for Israeli-Palestinian peace talk progress

The German Chancellor has pressed Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to urgently resume fully-fledged peace talks. She was speaking after meeting the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin

Abbas said Germany could make an important contribution

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Thursday that "time is pressing," for peace talks to resume between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

"It is very, very important that we see progress, that each side sees that good will is there," Merkel told a joint press conference after meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin.

Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2009 over Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Jordon has hosted three meetings this month between envoys from both sides in a bid to restart the stalled peace process, although there is currently little sign of progress. A fourth meeting is set for January 25.

"The window of opportunity is not yet closed," Merkel asserted. "The talks in Jordan are still going on. We want to help them achieve a result," she added.

President Abbas, meanwhile, praised Germany for developing a relationship with both Israel and the Palestinians. It may therefore "have an important role to play in the framework of dialogue in the region," Abbas said.

The Palestinian president is currently on a week-long tour of Europe, briefing leaders on the progress of talks in Jordan. He visited Prime Minister David Cameron in London earlier this week and is scheduled to stop in Russia next week.

Author: Charlotte Chelsom-Pill (AP, AFP, dpa)
Editor: Michael Lawton