Sat, 15 June 2024
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Germany has no plans to recognize Palestinian state: Scholz

Update : 25 May 2024, 15:50

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Friday that his government has no plans to officially recognize a Palestinian state.

Berlin (dpa) - There is "no reason" to recognize the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a separate state, Scholz said on Friday at a press conference alongside Portuguese Prime Minister Luís Montenegro.

"There is no clarity about the territory of the state, about all other issues related to it," Scholz said. He suggested that matters were "not yet that far."

Scholz argued that "a negotiated solution between Israel and the Palestinians that amounts to a two-state solution" with a Palestinian Authority responsible for both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is needed instead.

"But we're still a long way off that," Scholz said.

What is important now is "to achieve a long-term ceasefire" and "for all parties to commit to the two-state solution," Scholz said.

Ireland, Spain and Norway all announced plans to formally recognize a Palestinian state by the end of the month, a move that was met with fury from the right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Montenegro said that Portugal will not be taking this step for the time being, although he noted that his country had voted in favour of recognizing Palestine as a full member of the United Nations General Assembly.

Scholz on Friday said that it has become clear in recent weeks that Arab countries are working hard to ensure security in the Middle East region, which the German chancellor contended should give hope for a possible two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

However, a path of "symbolic recognition of statehood" would not lead things any further, Scholz said.

Scholz also criticized the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Karim Khan, for seeking arrest warrants on allegations of war crimes against Netanyahu and Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

Khan also requested arrest warrants against three top Hamas officials, accusing the leaders of the terrorist group of responsibility in a range of brutal atrocities.

But Scholz said that Khan's decision to request the arrest warrants at the same time, arguing that it implicitly equates Hamas and the Israeli government.

"I and the German government firmly reject the comparability," Scholz said.

He declined to directly address whether Germany would support enforcing the arrest warrants against Netanayahu and Gallant if granted, noting that a panel of judges in The Hague still must decide on the request by Khan.

"We have to wait and see. There is no need and no right to speculate," Scholz said.

Scholz said that the German government assumes the ICC's decision will take into account that "Israel is a democratic constitutional state with a strong and independent judiciary."

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