What is it about?
The agreement brokered by the United States on the establishment of official relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates as well as Bahrain is an important step towards more peace in the region. The German Government welcomes this development. The partners talked about how to build on the positive momentum in order to bring about progress in the Middle East peace process.
Germany believes that this opportunity has to be seized to encourage the Israeli Government and the Palestinian leadership to resume direct talks and negotiations. For a normalisation of relations between Israel and Arab states is no substitute for direct arrangements between the two sides. In the view of the German Government and of the EU, a negotiated two-state solution is the best way to achieve equitable and durable peace in the Middle East. It is therefore important that the parties now reach out to each other once more. However, this presupposes the will and readiness of both sides. Foreign Minister Maas spoke to his counterparts about how the countries in the Amman Group can support such a process.
Why are Jordan and Egypt so important?
Egypt and Jordan were the first Arab countries to conclude a peace agreement with Israel. What is more, as immediate neighbours they are directly affected by all developments in the region. The Jordanian Government administers the holy sites in Jerusalem and has close ties with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. The Egyptian Government has acted many times as a key mediator for a ceasefire between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian terrorist organisation Hamas in the Gaza Strip. They are key players in the Middle East peace process. The four Foreign Ministers of the group of countries which now met in Amman have therefore already met to exchange views on two previous occasions this year: on the margins of the Munich Security Conference and in July via video conference. It was originally planned that today’s meeting would take place in Amman. However, as Foreign Minister Maas was unable to travel to Amman, he joined his colleagues via a video link.