Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, the Palestinian Minister of Information and spokesperson of the National Unity Government, met on Wednesday with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He described the meeting as positive.Barghouthi stated that this meeting could lead to positive developments towards the European Union’s position regarding the Palestinian Unity Government. Germany currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
Barghouthi added that he informed Steinmeier of the difficult conditions that the Palestinians are facing, especially since Israel is withholding the salaries of the Palestinian employees by not transferring the tax money it collects, and the Israeli army is using harsh measures and attacking the Palestinians.
He said that the current government is determined to end the siege imposed on its people, to relief the economic crisis, and to achieve the needed security to the people.
Barghouthi stated that if the current government collapses, the Palestinian Authority will collapse and that this government was democratically elected by the people.
“This government does everything it can in order to improve the current conditions”, Barghouthi said, “But it has received no positive response from Israel, and remains under siege”.
Furthermore, Barghouthi told Steinmeier that the Palestinian government welcomes the European position and role, and added that the Palestinians want complete recognition of their rights and the rights of their legitimate government.
On his part, Steinmeier said that the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, living side-by-side with Israel, is the core of the peace process, and that Germany and the EU are interested in supporting the needs of the Palestinian people.
Both Steinmeier and Barghouthi called for increasing efforts to achieve a truce, and stop the Israeli invasions. They also discussed the current efforts conducted to achieve this aim.
Prior to his meeting with Steinmeier, Barghouthi warned that if Israel carried out a military offensive in the Gaza Strip, it will drag the whole area into a renewed cycle of violence and destruction.