Speaking in Palma de Mallorca today (20 July) on the margins of an EU meeting on the future of Europe, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle commented on the Middle East peace process as follows:
I welcome the agreement on the resumption of Middle East peace talks. This is an excellent outcome of the intensive mediation efforts undertaken by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Given the stalemate in the Middle East peace process in recent years, it may be the first step towards a breakthrough.
I hope the negotiations can actually begin soon. This is a historic opportunity, which both sides should grasp with courage and determination.
Together with its European partners, Germany will actively support the negotiating process.
The two sides now significantly closer
Foreign Minister Westerwelle hailed the agreement on the resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry on 19 July as a major step forward. According to Westerwelle, the agreement announced by his US counterpart meant that the two sides were now significantly closer.
Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, likewise lost no time in welcoming the announcement of direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians.