Solidarity and crisis diplomacy – Foreign Minister Baerbock travels to Israel

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock upon her departure for Tel Aviv

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock upon her departure for Tel Aviv, © photothek.net

16.10.2023 - Article

On 13 October, Foreign Minister Baerbock travelled to Israel, before travelling on to Egypt at short notice a day later, amid the fallout from the Hamas terror attack.

Hundreds of young women and men at a music festival – chased through the desert and killed. Old people and families, celebrating the Sabbath in their living rooms, – attacked. Mothers with small children – humiliated and abducted as hostages. Hamas has brought inconceivable horror to Israel. Few can imagine what the victims’ families are going through at this time.

Solidarity with Israel

Germany stands firmly and unwaveringly by the side of our Israeli friends. To underscore the German Government’s solidarity, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is travelling to Israel on 13 October for a one‑day visit. She will be received by her counterpart Eli Cohen.

Foreign Minister Baerbock:

These terror attacks mark a brutal turning point. A new era has begun for people in Israel. It is important not to look away and to call terror by its name.

The Foreign Minister’s trip was also in part crisis diplomacy. Hamas’s terror could set a whole region ablaze. Terrorists such as Hamas want to encourage other actors to add ever more fuel to the fire, until a major conflagration takes hold. It is vital to prevent this from happening.

Unfortunately, it is foreseeable that the situation will likely deteriorate yet further for the civilian population in the Gaza Strip, since the Hamas terrorists are dragging civilians in Gaza into the conflict and using them as human shields.

Foreign Minister Baerbock:

Terrorism’s cynical plan must not be allowed to take hold. Civilians need safe spaces where they can find protection and have their essential needs met.

This was Foreign Minister Baerbock’s second trip to Israel. She visited the country in February 2022 and, while there, laid a wreath at Yad Vashem in remembrance of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis.

Crisis diplomacy in Egypt

From Tel Aviv, Foreign Minister Baerbock flew on to Cairo, Egypt, at short notice, where she held talks with the Turkish and Egyptian foreign ministers and the Arab League. The talks centred on the release of the Germans taken by Hamas to Gaza, the evacuation of Germans from Gaza and the current humanitarian situation there.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock:

The people there currently have nothing. Water supplies are running out, food is growing short, electricity is cut off. That is another reason why it is a priority for me to discuss with the United Nations and our other partners how to get humanitarian assistance to Gaza and how we can create safe places in Gaza.


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