German lawmaker cites ‘grave differences’ as foreign minister heads for Israel

FILE PHOTO: German Chairman of the parliamentary subcommittee for foreign affairs Norbert Roettgen holds a news conference at the German Embassy in Washington July 9, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict poses a long-term threat to Israel, a key member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives said in an interview on Sunday, citing Israel’s reliance on the military and police. Norbert Roettgen, head of Germany’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee, has said that relations between the two countries remained deep and important, but said there were also “grave differences of opinion…All those who care deeply about Israel … are sad, even depressed, about how entrenched everything is, and how much Israel is relying on its military-police superiority and is not developing any perspectives for the situation.”

Israel was profiting from tensions elsewhere in the region, but the basic situation was growing worse and more negative. “That is a real threat for Israel in the longer term.”
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