Israel urges to break talks stalemate by arab news

Saudi Arabia and Germany called on Israel to break the current stalement with the Palestinians, to cease settlement activity in occupied lands and to accept East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

”The illegal settlements contitute a major obstacle to the Middle East peace talks , ”said Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al- Faisal at a joint news conference on Saturday with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle , who strongly backed the call to cease the expansion of settlement in disputed areas.

”A settlement freeze was part of the road map that has been advocated by the European Union,”  the German minister pointed out , reffering to the rightful demandsof the Palestinians that the borders of their promised state encompass all of their land Israel took in thr Six-Day War , including Arab East Jerusalem.

The visiting German minister later met with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and discussed key regional and international issues with him.

At the joint news conference, Prince Saud and Westerwelle also spoke about the need for a resolution of the Iranian nuclear standoff , with the prince Saud calling on the both Israel an Iran to roll back their nuclear programs, as they pose a threat to regional stability.

The German Foreign minister urged Iran to negotiate. ”Saudi Arabia and Germany share common concerns over Iranian ambition of qcquiring nuclear weapons,” he said. ”Our patience is not endless , and if Tehran does not toe the line then we might toughen our scantions.”

The two ministers also adressed the war in Afganistan, saying the country needs more money and reconstuction. 

They also addresed an upcoming conference on the issue.    ”We agreed that the conference on Aganistan on Jan.28 must have broad political approach on all issues,” said Westerwelle. ”A political solution must be the focus of international talks because we agree that the lives of the people in Afganistan must be improved.”

Washington  is hoping to convience Germany to deploy more soldiers in the war-torn country, but Berlin appreared apprenhensive about increasing their troop presence beyond the current 4,400 soldiers it has stationed in the country.

The German minister called Saudi Arabi a ”central actor in the Middle East and Afganistan.” He also expressed concern about Yamen , saying his country has a ”great interest in a stable Yamen that does not become a retreat for terrorists.”  Yamen must remain a sovereign and independent state with peace an security , said Prince Saud.

Westerwelle was in Riyadh on the second leg of his Middle East tour fot political and trade talks with his Saudi counterpart and other officials.

Fighting terrorism was discussed , while ways to boost economic cooperation between the two countries were taken up during the talks.

Prince Saud said he also discussed with his German counterpart easing visa provisions for Saudi nationals.

Westerwelle also met with Riyadh Gov. Prince Salman and Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf . The German minister reviewed the world economic crisis.

Westerwelle was accomplained by a group of German business executives, including chief executive of the state-owned railways group Deutsche Bahn, Reudiger Grube. Westerwelle suggested that Deutsche Bahn might signdeals to upgrade the rail network in the region.

This westerwelle’s first trip to Saudi Arabia since assuming office as foreign minister. He arrived in the Kingdom on Friday , the second stop on his six-day trip to Turkey and several Gulf states, including the UAE and Qatar.

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