Representatives of the German Government and the Palestinian Authority convened for the fourth time at ministerial level today (26 October) at a meeting of the German-Palestinian Steering Committee. Their talks focused on the ongoing efforts to resolve the Middle East conflict and on Germany’s support for the Palestinian territories. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier took the opportunity provided by the meeting at the Federal Foreign Office to hold talks with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
The two-state solution is a guiding principle of German foreign policy
“Peace between Israel and Palestine is and remains something people desire not only in the region, but also something that we Germans desire,” said Foreign Minister Steinmeier at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Hamdallah. Steinmeier made Germany’s position on the Middle East conflict clear: “We continue to believe that bringing about the two-state solution is the only way to permanently guarantee peace and stability in this part of the world.” This was why the two-state solution remained “a guiding principle of our policy”, Steinmeier said.
Intensifying cooperation with the help of the Steering Committee
After the meeting between Steinmeier and Hamdallah, the German-Palestinian Steering Committee met for the fourth time. The aim of the Steering Committee is to pool German activities in the Palestinian territories and to intensify and better interlink German-Palestinian cooperation. The Steering Committee was set up in May 2010 in recognition of achievements by the Palestinian side in building state structures and in response to the concrete reform initiatives by then Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad. Since then, the Steering Committee has formed the framework for regular consultations. It met for the second time in March 2012. Its most recent meeting took place in Berlin in March 2014. The meetings were co-chaired by the German Foreign Minister and the Palestinian Prime Minister.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier underlined that “many ministries are in constant contact with one another” in the Steering Committee. In addition to Prime Minister Hamdallah, the Palestinian side was represented at the meeting of the Steering Committee by Foreign Minister Malki, the Minister of Education and Higher Education, and the Minister of Local Government. The German Government was represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Chancellery. Their talks focused on the ongoing efforts to resolve the Middle East conflict and on Germany’s support for the Palestinian territories.
Germany is one of the largest donors
Germany has a long-standing commitment to the Palestinian territories. The German Government is one of the largest bilateral donors, with support focusing on the areas of water, economic development, public safety (police), governance and education. Germany actively supports the goal of an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign Palestinian state co‑existing in peace, security and mutual recognition with all its neighbours, including Israel.