Germany Announces Date of Merkel's Visit to Israel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Israel for bilateral talks at the end of February, accompanied by a number of her ministers, a spokesman said on Friday, according to AFP.
The visit will take place February 24 and 25, spokesman Georg Streiter was quoted as having told a regular news briefing, without revealing a detailed agenda. Three weeks ago Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu formally invited Merkel to Israel.
Germany and Israel have held regular government consultations since 2008, an arrangement where the two sides meet at regular intervals to discuss specific topics.
This will be the fifth such meeting between Germany and Israel. The last one was held in Berlin in December 2012 and during that meeting, Merkel and Netanyahu “agreed to disagree” over Israeli construction in areas the Palestinian Authority (PA) claims for a future state.
A recent Israeli report said that both Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron were planning separate visits to Israel in February as part of an international push for Israel to sign a peace agreement with the PA.
The U.S.-sponsored talks between Israel and the PA are continuing and Secretary of State John Kerry is about to bring forward a framework proposal for the talks.
Reports on Thursday indicated that Kerry’s agreement mentions a Palestinian state with borders based on the 1949 Armistice lines and with land swaps between Israel and the PA. 75 to 80 percent of the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria would remain in their homes even after a permanent agreement.
The agreement will include a reference to the PA’s incitement against Israel and will also include a reference to compensation for Jewish refugees who came from Arab countries. The Arabs would recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Israel would recognize the Palestinian state, and the two sides will announce the end of the conflict.
The report was based on quotes by American Jewish leaders who were briefed by American envoy Martin Indyk.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)