• Germany's news in English

Steinmeier works for Middle East ceasefire

AFP · 30 Dec 2008, 18:03

Published: 30 Dec 2008 18:03 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Steinmeier's comments came after telephone conversations with his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Monday, and with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak and the foreign ministers of Syria and Egypt on Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry in Berlin said in a statement.

"In all of these conversations, the foreign minister expressed his concern that a further escalation could not only mean that the progress made in the... [peace] process is lost, but also that constructive partners for talks on the Arab side could turn their backs on it," the statement said.

"This could delay for years the chances for a peaceful solution," Steinmeier said.

Steinmeier also used the phone calls to explore the possibility of a ceasefire to allow "desperately needed" aid shipments to the people in Gaza, and to allow room for diplomatic efforts towards a lasting truce.

Germany's top diplomat also held "long talks" with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner ahead of Tuesday's meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Paris to discuss the crisis.

Since Saturday Israel has carried out four days of aerial raids on Gaza, killing at least 363 Palestinians, readying troops for a land operation and warning its assault could last for weeks. The bombardment has killed several senior Hamas officials and reduced much of Gaza's infrastructure to rubble, but it has failed to stop rocket fire from the territory.

Story continues below…

Three Israelis - two civilians and one soldier - were killed on Monday by rockets fired from Gaza, with one slamming into the southern port city of Ashdod more than 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the border. Hamas has warned it could launch suicide attacks inside Israel for the first time since January 2005.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel blames Hamas for the escalation of violence in Gaza because of the firing of rockets into Israel and the abandonment of its ceasefire, her spokesman said Monday.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd