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25 January 2007
German EU Presidency supports Middle East peace process
Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Davos. Commenting after their meeting, she noted that the revitalization of the Middle East Quartet is providing hope in the current difficult situation.
Merkel stressed the EU’s obligation to support the peace process to the extent possible, adding that the leading part obviously has to be played by the actors on the ground.
She doesn’t want to overestimate Europe’s importance in this context, but feels it could play a very constructive role nonetheless.
Talks with regional leaders
Merkel said she will remain in close contact with those leaders in the region who support the peace process.
She is slated to visit Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates February 3-6. A meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan is scheduled for this week.
>>Movement in the Middle East
National unity government
In her meeting with Abbas, Merkel reaffirmed her support for a government of national unity in the Palestinian territories. She emphasized that it would have to comply with the criteria laid down by the Middle East Quartet in the Road Map.
She made it clear that the launching of Qassam rockets must stop, saying that they constitute a grave threat to Israel’s security.
The Middle East Quartet, consisting of the European Union, the United States, Russia, and the United Nations, formulated the Road Map and is responsible for monitoring its implementation.