The talks between Angela Merkel and Mahmoud Abbas focused firstly on the situation in the Palestinian territories. There must be a political solution to the conflict, explained Angela Merkel, "which will enable the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples to live in peace and security". The German government continues to trust in a two-state solution negotiated between the parties to the conflict, "even if this goal is proving to be increasingly difficult to achieve".
Germany is largest bilateral donor
The Palestinians need prospects of economic development, said Angela Merkel. Germany is engaged in the long term, and is the largest bilateral donor. "Last year we spent 110 million euros, half of that on project-related cooperation with the Palestinian Authority."
The second focus of Germany’s engagement aims to ensure good governance, said Angela Merkel. In this context she mentioned the "democratic legitimation of the existing institutions and the strengthening of civil society".
Background – intensive development cooperation
Development cooperation in the Palestinian territories is an important part of Germany’s engagement. Germany intends to use it to help establish a future Palestinian state.
The priority areas of cooperation include economic development, education and vocational training, promoting local governance and cooperation to promote education and employment for young people.
There is also an ongoing portfolio of measures to develop infrastructure in the fields of water supply and sanitation. In view of the particular needs of the population, measures are also being implemented in Gaza, where they face restrictions as a result of the political framework.
To improve the living conditions of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, the German government also cooperates with UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) within the framework of a strategic partnership.