German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday implored Israel not to “lose sight” of the need to establish a Palestinian state, as she wrapped up a two-day farewell visit.
Merkel’s support for a two-state solution has been one of the key disagreements with Israel’s leadership during her 16 years in office, which were characterised by unwavering support for Israel.
Speaking at an Israeli think tank, Merkel welcomed the historic diplomatic agreements reached last year between Israel and four Arab countries — led by the United Arab Emirates.
But she said the deals, known as the Abraham Accords, did not erase the need for Israel to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
“We must not lose sight of the right of the Palestinians to have a chance to live,” she said. “Therefore one should under no circumstances, even as it becomes more and more difficult because of the settlements, lose sight of the issue of a two-state solution,” Merkel told a panel at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
Backers of the Abraham Accords, which were brokered by the Trump Administration, have praised them as breaking the long-standing belief that Israel could not forge ties with the Arab world before reaching an agreement with the Palestinians.—AP