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Merkel to talk about stalled Mideast peace process during visit to Israel

BERLIN

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will talk about the stalemate in the Middle East peace process for the duration of her visit to Israel over the weekend, her spokesman said Friday.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Steffen Seibert said: “The issue of Palestine, the problem of the peace process, the subject of the negotiated two-state solution, of which, however, nothing is to be seen at the moment, that usually travels with us because it is one of the important subjects alongside bilateral relations.”

Seibert added: “This means that the chancellor will additionally express her conviction on this subject in talks with the Israeli interlocutors.”

Merkel is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, President Isaac Herzog, and Foreign Minister Jair Lapid for talks in Jerusalem on Sunday. The German leader will additionally meet with the Israeli cabinet members during her Oct. 9-11 visit.

The chancellor is additionally scheduled to lay a wreath in the presence of Bennett at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

At a ceremony in Jerusalem, Merkel will be awarded an honorary doctorate by way of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

According to the program, Merkel will additionally join a roundtable with representatives of the Institute for National Security Studies from Tel Aviv on Monday.

Meanwhile, Seibert reiterated the chancellor would not visit the Palestinian-run territories when she will be in Israel. The chancellor’s last go to to the West Bank used to be in 2006.

Sworn in in mid-June, the new Israeli coalition government is supported by a total of eight parties from the proper to the left, including an Arab party for the first time. This marked the end of the era of long-term right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had been in office barring a break because of 2009.

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