On Wednesday (2 September), Foreign Minister Steinmeier met Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Berlin. Their talks focused primarily on the conflict in Syria and how to tackle the refugee crisis in the region and in Europe, as well as on bilateral relations.
A “pole of stability” in the Middle East: Germany and Jordan enjoy close ties in the areas of business of culture, as Federal Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier stressed during today's visit of his Jordanian counterpart to Berlin. Judeh, too, praised the “excellent relations” between his country and Germany. They also emphasised their close interaction on the urgent issues on the international and regional agenda.
Support for Syria envoy de Mistura
The conflict in Syria therefore played a particularly prominent role in the talks between the two Foreign Ministers. Steinmeier and Judeh are both in contact with UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura. Steinmeier explained that de Mistura was involved in a consultation process in Geneva supported by both the Federal Government and the Hashemite Kingdom in an attempt to build a platform on which a political initiative could succeed. Steinmeier went on to express his hope that these negotiations would be the first step towards defusing the situation. He said that both Foreign Ministers agreed that a solution had to be found for Syria before the country and its institutions collapsed altogether.
Another topic of the discussions was Germany's OSCE chairmanship in 2016 and the next OSCE meeting with the states bordering the Mediterranean. Steinmeier stressed that the meeting in Amman, Jordan, in October would provide an opportunity to think beyond each separate conflict in the region to acquire a broader perspective. The German Foreign Minister said that this involved considering the question of how to develop a security architecture for the Middle East and the Mediterranean region “in which the common interest in greater security could form the basis for the states' interaction with one another”.
Refugees: fairer distribution among the EU countries is needed
Speaking alongside his Jordanian counterpart, Steinmeier also addressed the issue of taking in refugees in the EU. He called for greater European cooperation in this area. Steinmeier felt that the scale of the issue was now so large that people should stop “pointing accusatory fingers at one another”. He announced that at the informal EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Luxembourg the coming weekend (4 and 5 September) he would be presenting a ten‑point plan for a common European refugee policy that he had compiled in collaboration with Economic Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel.