World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Foreign Minister Fischer's trip to the Middle East

Foreign Minister Fischer's trip to the Middle East

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority from April 7 to 9. During this time he held meetings with Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, as well as with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister designate Mahmud Abbas. Fischer characterized his visit as a "gesture of friendship and solidarity in difficult times".

Peace process

The war in Iraq and the efforts being undertaken by the international community to achieve a political solution of the Middle East conflict were the subjects discussed at the meetings held. Particular attention was given to the "roadmap" for peace in the region supported by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia. The peace process to be initiated under this plan is aimed at formal recognition of Israel's right to exist within secure borders and the creation of a democratic Palestine. The prerequisite for this happening is that concessions be made by Israelis and Palestinians within established time limits, for instance with regard to ending Israeli settlement activity on Palestinian land and with regard to reform of the Palestinian Authority. In accordance with the roadmap negotiations are to be conducted that will lead to the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005.

Israel's right to exist non-negotiable

After meeting with his Israeli counterpart Silvan Shalom in Jerusalem on April 7 Fischer said Israel's right to exist and its right to peace without terror are non-negotiable. Shalom, who has only been in office for a few weeks and for whom the meeting with Fischer was the first visit by a foreign minister to his new ministry, gave his assurances that Israel is willing to make genuine efforts to achieve peace. Fischer and Shalom underscored the importance of the US role in the peace process.

After meeting with President Katsav in Jerusalem on April 8 Fischer appealed to Israelis and Palestinians to increase their efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement of their conflict, saying that the terror and the violence will have to end.

Continuation of reforms

In meetings with Arafat and Abbas on April 9 Fischer noted that a real breakthrough in the peace process is going to be needed and emphasized the urgency of reforming the Palestinian Authority. He said he expects to see the rapid formation of a Palestinian cabinet so that the peace plan drawn up by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia can be implemented. In Ramallah Fischer met with members of the Palestinian reform committee who assured him that the reform process will be continued.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news