The minister said Ramallah is in close contact with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel regarding Berlin’s taking more of a lead role on a two-state solution. A senior official in the German Foreign Office told Al-Monitor that Merkel is now ready to play a more active and independent role on Middle East policy. The source said German goals in the region are to be part of a Western-Arab coalition against terrorism, to uphold the Iran deal and to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process based on a two-state solution.
Germany has traditionally been reluctant to play a role in the Israeli-Palestinian issue given the country’s special relations with Israel. Yet Merkel is concerned that the US administration will not produce a viable diplomatic process, and that Trump’s aims in the region are mainly related to American business interests in the Gulf and to an anti-terror perception.
The German source emphasized that Germany does not want in any way to predetermine permanent status issues. It is strongly opposed to Israeli settlement policy and wants to strengthen Abbas’ posture.
According to the official with direct access to Merkel, the chancellor is ready to create a regional economic framework in favor of a two-state solution. The idea raised in German policy planning circles is to propose an “EU Marshall Plan” for Israel and the Palestinian Authority in close cooperation with the Arab League.
PHOTO: Graffiti in Berlin by Guenther Schaefer