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German FM: Preventing Israeli Annexations in West Bank a ‘Priority’
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi (right) hosts his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, beneath a portrait of King Abdullah II late Wednesday in Amman. (Ahmad Shoura/AFP via Getty Images)

German FM: Preventing Israeli Annexations in West Bank a ‘Priority’

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says Jordan, being a “direct neighbor” of Israel, is “more directly affected than any other country by any developments.” In Amman late Wednesday following a visit to Israel, he was referring to plans by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to begin annexing parts of the West Bank. Issuing a joint statement with his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi, and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, Maas said such a move would be “contrary to international law,” adding that it was “now a matter of priority to prevent it.” The three also said that “any future negotiations to reach the final status agreement [on Israeli-Palestinian] peace] must be based on international law and the relevant UN resolutions.” While in Amman, Maas and Safadi held talks while Shtayyeh participated by video conference from Ramallah. Earlier in the day, the German foreign minister met in Jerusalem with his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, and said that unlike the European Union, which has threatened sanctions against Israel should it move ahead on annexations, Germany had yet to “set up any price tags.” Always aware of its post-war responsibilities to the Jewish people, Berlin tends to maintain a lenient attitude toward Israel even when its actions draw the ire of other European governments.

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