Before leaving Madrid today (24 February) for the German‑Israeli intergovernmental consultations in Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement:
The Middle East peace process will play a prominent role. We support John Kerry’s efforts to finally bring about the two‑state solution and I hope that our partners will listen to our arguments.
However, there have also been developments in the bilateral relations between Germany and Israel. We are going to greatly enhance the collaboration between our Foreign Ministries with an agreement on consular cooperation. This will make it possible in future for Israeli citizens to turn to German missions abroad for assistance in countries where Israel does not have its own missions.
Of course, we will discuss the state of the peace process and we will try to establish where obstacles still stand in the way of a solution. It is quite obvious that the settlement policy continues to be one of these obstacles and this issue will therefore also be brought up. In the past, we have stated clearly that we regard the decisions on settlement expansion not only as unhelpful but also as an impediment to the efforts to find a peace settlement and, naturally, we will also talk about this during the visit.