German Foreign Minister to PA: Don't tear down bridges

Germany's new foreign minister meets PA leaders, stresses importance of U.S. involvement in peace talks.

Elad Benari,

Heiko Maas and Mahmoud Abbas
Heiko Maas and Mahmoud Abbas
Reuters

Germany's new foreign minister, Heiko Maas, on Monday urged Palestinian Arabs "not to tear down bridges", The Associated Press reported.

Maas was speaking during his first trip to the Middle East since becoming foreign minister earlier this month.

Meeting Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders in Ramallah, he said the new German government remains committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He added that peace efforts without the U.S. "would be difficult."

The Trump administration is planning to promote a plan for peace between Israel and the PA, but PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to consider the Trump administration an honest broker for negotiations since President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.

PA officials have repeatedly rejected the Trump administration’s peace proposal, claiming it was coordinated with Israel.

While the plan has not yet been made official, the Arabic newspaper recently Asharq al-Awsat published what it said were the details of Trump’s peace plan, though it cited unnamed French officials as its sources.

Those officials told the newspaper that the American president will present a diplomatic plan including recognition of a Palestinian state not based on the pre-1967 lines, while the Jordan Valley will remain in Israeli hands, the Palestinian Arab demand for a "right of return" will not be implemented and the "Palestinian refugees" will be compensated and remain where they are.

The alleged plan also states that the large Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria will remain in place but some of the smaller communities would be evacuated. The Palestinian state would be demilitarized and have limited sovereignty.

It includes the transfer of other security and administrative responsibilities to the Arab authorities in Areas A and B. The capital of the Palestinian state would be in eastern Jerusalem.

The PA official in charge of foreign affairs later said some European Union countries would negotiate with the United States to persuade it to amend its peace plan.








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