Merkel urges to restart stalled Middle East peace process
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Thursday to restart stalled Middle East peace process and make progress in September after meeting visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Xinhua reported.
Considering the current turmoil in the Arab world, restarting the Middle East peace talks become "more pressing than ever." Merkel said in a joint press conference with Netanyahu.
The Mideast Quartet formed by the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union could make an important contribution by September, she said.
However, she objected a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, saying "unilateral recognition will make no help for achieving the final goal and Germany will insist its two-state solution in September."
Merkel said "There needs to be mutual recognition, otherwise it is not a two-state solution."
In March, the Palestinians have pledged to seek UN recognition of their independent state within the 1967 borders and with east Jerusalem as its capital in a move widely expected to take place in September.
On the issue of the Jewish settlements on the West Bank that interrupted the peace talks, Netanyahu said the settlements should not be taken as "an insurmountable obstacle" and called for negotiation for all issues.
Driven by the U.S. government, Israel and the Palestinians restarted peace talks in September last year, but it was soon interrupted as Israel refused to extend the order of limiting building settlements on the West Bank.
The U.S. government has promised to make the two sides reach a peace agreement within a year, making September a key point for Middle East peach process.