President Joachim Gauck Visits Israel and Ramallah

A meeting is scheduled between the new German President, Joachim Gauck and Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and his Prime Minister, Dr. Salam Fayyad, in Ramallah on Thursday to discuss the latest political negotiations and developments.President Gauck has previously expressed his belief that President Abbas and PM Fayyad have accomplished a great deal to establish state institutions and that Germany would like to help continue such improvements.

President Gauck’s visit to Ramallah follows his stay in Israel where he visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. Gauck also met with Israeli president, Shimon Peres and is due to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netenyahu sometime on Wednesday.

President Gauck’s visit to Israel is his first official visit as President of Germany. President Gauck spoke of a special relationship between Germany and Israel, saying that Germany would be the last state to abandon Israel.

Polls in Germany showed that 59% of Germans see Israel as a hostile state. Another 60% indicated that they felt no special obligations towards Israel.

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Sarah Snobar

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