German President Christian Wulff says his country is forever committed to Israel’s long-term security, which is largely based on creation of an independent Palestinian state.
During his first visit to Israel since assuming presidency in July, Wulff held talks with Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Sunday, saying Germans have a “responsibility” regarding Israel’s security, Deutsche Welle reported.
Peres, for his part, hailed bilateral ties between Berlin and Jerusalem, saying that “relations with Germany are as important such as relations can ever be.”
The two leaders also exchanged views on a range of issues including the stalled direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinian and the former’s settlement activities in the occupied territories.
The visit comes as Palestinians argue that the direct talks could not be resumed unless Israelis cease all illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Israel stalled the talks, which were re-launched in early September in the United States, by refusing to extend a partial 10-month freeze it had imposed on the construction and expansion of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Meanwhile, on the hot-button issue of settlement activities and the necessary measure to attain peace and security in the occupied Palestinian territories, Wulff expounded on the importance of reaching an agreement on a two-state solution based upon creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Israel is considering plans for a fresh 90-day ban on West Bank settlement building in return for a US package of political and military benefits.
Wulff, who is in Israel as part of a two-day tour of the occupied Palestinian territories, is scheduled to meet Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as well as Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmud Abbas.
Israel captured East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in 1967 and later annexed it, but the move was never recognized by the international community.