Foreign Ministry concerned Germany will downgrade ties over annexation – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on June 10, 2020

Berlin may find ways other than sanctions to downgrade its relations with Jerusalem should Israel apply sovereignty with the West Bank, Foreign Ministry sources said on Monday.German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to visit Israel on Wednesday, making him the first major foreign visitor since the new government was sworn in last month. Maas will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.Maas is expected to express Germanys concerns over Netanyahus intention to extend Israels laws to the West Bank in July, as part of US President Donald Trumps peace plan. This would coincide with Germany becoming president of the Council of the European Union for six months, starting in July, as well as of the UN Security Council for a month.A Foreign Ministry source said that while ties with Israel are important to Germany, the relations between the countries will likely suffer as a consequence of Israel moving forward with annexation.Berlin is unlikely to support EU sanctions on Israel or to recognize a Palestinian state outside the framework of an agreement with Israel, but may be more reticent to help Israel in various international matters and downgrade ties in other ways, the source posited.Maas is also expected to discuss Horizon Europe, a seven-year multi-billion European initiative for scientific research cooperation. Israel received a billion Euros in the previous seven years and is negotiating its role in the cycle beginning in 2021.One possible punitive action in response to annexation that EU critics of Israel have mentioned is keeping Israel out of the next Horizon project. However, the Foreign Ministry source says there has not been any change in the negotiating process.Another matter on the agenda for Maas visit is an agreement for Germany to support Yad Vashem for another 10 years, to the tune of a million Euros each year.

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Foreign Ministry concerned Germany will downgrade ties over annexation - The Jerusalem Post

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