Foreign Minister Steinmeier in Amman on the situation in the Middle East

14.07.2014 - Press release

During a press conference in Amman with his Jordanian counterpart, Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on the situation in the Middle East today (14 July):

The rocket attacks by Hamas against Israel must stop immediately, that is one thing. But there must also be a way to end the escalation. We must urgently look for ways to get out of this spiral of violence. I say this in the awareness of the fact that at the moment the solutions we are looking for may be even harder to find than a year ago.

Yet in my view, in the long run Israelis and Palestinians have no alternative but to return to the negotiating table. Without the prospect of a peaceful, negotiated two-state solution the logic of violence will triumph again and again – this cannot be in our interest.

In such a situation, Germany must not overestimate its own abilities. We cannot act as an intermediary or mediator here and certainly not in this highly critical conflict situation, which at the moment seems to be getting even worse.

Thus the aim of my visit here is to have talks with friends who have interests similar to our own and to explore ways of stopping the spiral of violence.

This will not be at all easy and the fact that my Jordanian colleague and I share the same views will certainly not be enough. Instead, what we need here in the Middle East is what I in Germany called a “coalition of reason”, which brings together top diplomats, prime ministers and heads of government who feel they have a responsibility to make sure that the development of recent days does not continue indefinitely.

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