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German president urges two-state solution in Middle East

Joachim Gauck tells visiting Israeli President Rivlin that only two-state solution can bring lasting peace to Israelis and Palestinians

11.05.2015 - Update : 11.05.2015
German president urges two-state solution in Middle East


The two-state solution is the only way to achieve lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, German President Joachim Gauck told visiting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday.

Rivlin, an outspoken opponent of the two-state solution, met Gauck on the first day of his official visit to Germany, which marks 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Gauck reaffirmed Germany’s historical responsibility for Israel due to the Holocaust, but also voiced concern for the deadlock in the Middle East peace process, during a press event at the presidential palace in Berlin.

“When it comes to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, we continue to believe that a lasting peace can only be possible through a two-state solution,” Gauck said. “We hope that both sides would come closer and recognize the rights of the other. We regret the suspension of talks with the Palestinians.” 

'Not war against Islam'

Rivlin praised the strong ties developed with Germany in the last 50 years and underlined that it was very important for Israel to further deepen political, economic and cultural ties with Berlin.

He said that despite their close ties and shared values, the two countries have different opinions on a few topics, such as the dispute on the two-state solution.

“We want a real peace which can put an end to the tragedy between Arab and Israeli people,” Rivlin said, without further elaborating on the future of the Middle East peace process. “We are concerned about fundamentalism. We are not in war against Islam, we only have problem with fundamentalists.” 

Rivlin also warned against growing anti-Semitism and racism in Europe and urged a stronger stance by politicians and civil society.

The Israeli president will continue his visit on Tuesday with meetings scheduled with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Merkel has been a strong supporter of Israel and pursued policies in the last 10 years that sought deepening political, economic and defense ties with the Jewish state.

“The security of Israel is part of Germany’s reason of state,” Merkel told Israel’s Knesset at a historic address in 2008.

She repeatedly underlined Germany’s special responsibility for the security of Israel, due to the Holocaust.

About six million Jews are believed to have died during the genocide carried out by Nazi Germany.  

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