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Foreign Minister Steinmeier in the Middle East: “The way to peace will only be possible via negotiations”

16.11.2014

Statement by Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier during the meeting with Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni on 16 November:

This morning we had a long meeting with the Israeli President, which of course also focused on recent events. He said very clearly and unequivocally: We have no desire for war or for any conflict with Islam. On the basis of the talks I have held in Israel so far, I assume that all sides will show sensitivity in dealing with the issue of the use of the Temple Mount.

I also expressed my view that the meeting held in Amman was perhaps a small but very important step towards defusing the situation.

Many people are disappointed that the last peacebuilding efforts were not successful. Members of the younger generation in particular are waiting for a plan for the future which finally promises peace.

The way to peace will only be possible via negotiations. That is why I hope not only that the ceasefire negotiations in Cairo will be resumed as soon as possible, with a successful outcome, but also that we can find a way to reopen talks to advance the Middle East peace process and move closer to a two‑state solution.

As I have frequently said on other occasions, all the unilateral steps that have been taken do not create a basis for such talks but only hinder them. For this reason the focus has been on talks concerning unilateral calls upon international organisations in Ramallah as well as on issues regarding settlement expansion.

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