Daily Israel Report

PM Netanyahu, German FM Westerwelle Meet in Jerusalem

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is in Jerusalem to discuss the PA statehood bid.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 9/12/2011, 9:52 PM

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has been kept busy commuting between Ramallah, Amman and Jerusalem over the past several days. He spent Monday meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan, who has also been busy trying to find a way to persuade Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to abandon the PA bid for statehood recognition and membership at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly.

Abdullah has thus far been unsuccessful in his attempts.

Westerwelle met Monday evening with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, where the two discussed the upcoming opening of the United Nations General Assembly and what that session will mean for the region.

The two leaders also discussed the crackdown on Syrian protesters by the Damascus government of President Bashar al-Assad, and the diplomatic tensions between Israel and Turkey.

Also on the agenda was the issue of Iran's growing nuclear capability and what it portends, not only for Israel but for the rest of the world as well.

Both men emphasized to reporters covering their meeting the friendship that exists between Israel and Germany. The German foreign minister will also meet with his Israeli counterpart, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, before he leaves the country.

Germany has made it clear that it will oppose a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a new country and will oppose its motion for U.N. membership. The United States, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has also said it will oppose the PA statehood bid.

Part of Westerwelle's mission was to try to persuade the PA leadership in Ramallah to abandon its U.N. bid for statehood and instead return to the negotiating table with Israel.