German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas travelled to Al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Wednesday where he was set to voice European “concern” over Tel Aviv’s annexation plans in the occupied West Bank.
Maas, the first high-level European visitor to touch down in the Zionist entity since the coronavirus pandemic hit, on arrival touched elbows with his Israeli counterpart, both wearing face masks.
The focal point of talks will be the proposed annexation of West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley, with initial steps slated to begin from July 1, the same day Germany takes the rotating EU presidency.
The European Union opposes the move although it remains divided on how to react, with Maas’s visit seen as an opportunity by the Zionist entity to tone down the bloc’s response.
The German foreign ministry said on its website that “in the Middle East conflict, Germany and its European Union partners are committed to the resumption of negotiations and a two-state solution.”
“In Israel, Foreign Minister Maas will also express European concern about the possible consequences of annexation, as announced by the Israeli government.”
Germany’s top diplomat held talks with his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi before meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Benny Gantz.