Middle East Eye / October 12, 2020
The Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat published an exclusive interview with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, currently on a visit to Riyadh, in which he said that his country seeks to capitalise on the normalisation agreements signed by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain with Israel in order to bolster the peace process in the region.
“We seek to benefit from this emerging normalisation movement to add momentum to the peace process in the Middle East. We are talking with our partners in the European Union, the Arab League and the UN to support a path for new talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Maas said.
“We are firmly convinced that the two-state solution remains the best option to end the conflict, both for the security of Israel and to guarantee the rights of the Palestinians,” he added.
Maas told the Saudi paper that the European aid for the reconstruction process in Syria depends on the launch of a comprehensive and credible political track.
As for Lebanon, he stressed that initiating reforms is the primary condition for obtaining international and German support for the reconstruction process in the country.
Regarding German–Saudi relations, the minister said: “Saudi Arabia is an important partner for us in the region, as we hold close economic ties. Riyadh is the second most important Arab trade partner for Berlin, and Germany is the fourth largest supplier to the kingdom.
“Vision 2030 will pave the way for new cooperation opportunities, most notably in the field of technology, which will enable us to meet the challenges of climate change.”
Mohammad Ayesh is an Arab journalist currently based in London