A popular German newspaper reported that German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will comply with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request and not meet with representatives from the left-wing NGO Breaking the Silence during his upcoming trip to Israel.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
According to the German newspaper Der Spiegel, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is expected to visit Israel on Sunday, will not meet with representatives from the left-wing NGO Breaking the Silence in order to prevent another diplomatic crisis between Jerusalem and Berlin. This report comes after it was reported earlier today that Steinmeier did not say that he would boycott Breaking the Silence.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled his meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel after the latter met with members of left-wing NGOs. On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced support for Gabriel and his decision even though Netanyahu warned him ahead of time that he would cancel their meeting if he sits down with the left-wing activists. Merkel said that she also tends to meet with civilian organizations when she visits foreign countries.
“We were in close contact during his visit to Israel,” Merkel said. She added that the diplomatic crisis will not impact the relations between Jerusalem and Berlin. “This will not change anything related to our belief that supporting the State of Israel is part of Germany’s national interests.”
“It appears that Netanyahu is under a lot of pressure due to his actions,” said Gabriel after his meeting with the Israeli prime minister was canceled. “This is the reason why he appears in newspapers in Germany.”