German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint news conference in Jerusalem, marking the start of two days of intergovernmental talks.
Netanyahu reiterated his concerns over Iran, saying: “I would like to discuss the ways to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons capability. I believe that this is the greatest challenge to the security of the world.”
“On peace I would like to discuss with you how we can advance the efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” Netanyahu added.
Merkel said that Germany viewed Iran as a potential threat not just to Israel, but also to Europe. She stopped short, however, of supporting her host’s demand that Tehran give up all sensitive nuclear projects under any negotiated deal with world powers.
Aside from the pressing global challenges, Germany and Israel were also keen to underline the strength of their own relationship.
Merkel said the two countries were preparing for the “50th anniversary of the Israeli-German relationship” in 2015.
“These 50 years, the five decades, show how much Germany has invested to ensure that Israel has a possible and safe future, the establishment of a two-state solution: a Jewish state as well as a Palestinian state,” Merkel said.