A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (19 May) following the fifth meeting of the German-Palestinian Steering Committee:
The fifth interministerial meeting of the German-Palestinian Steering Committee took place today under the joint chairmanship of Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh. In addition to numerous bilateral issues and projects, the meeting also addressed the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts as well as the future of the Middle East peace process.
Foreign Minister Maas had the following to say in this regard:
Thanks to the rapid action taken by the Palestinian Authority, it has been possible to get the COVID-19 outbreak under control. The aim now must be to revive the economy and implement urgently needed political reforms while respecting human rights and taking healthcare issues into account. Germany stands firmly at the side of the Palestinians in this process and is prepared to provide further support. We have set aside 20 million euros for UNRWA’s appeal for the COVID-19 response.
Germany remains committed to the goal of a negotiated two-state solution. From our point of view, borders may only be altered as the result of negotiations or with the agreement of both sides. We therefore call for the resumption of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and are ready to support this course with our partners. Unilateral steps are no alternative.
The German-Palestinian Steering Committee is the main forum for comprehensive and interministerial consultations between the Palestinian Authority and the Federal Government in areas such as development cooperation, humanitarian assistance, crisis prevention and stabilisation, cultural relations and education policy, science and research, police cooperation and human rights. Convened for the first time in 2010, it held is fifth meeting today. Other participating ministries included the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.