Israel, Germany Announce ‘Strategic Cooperation’ on Scholz Visit
i24 News – Germany and Israel will enter into a “strategic cooperation,” it was announced on Wednesday during a snap visit to the Jewish state by new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called the diplomatic and security initiative a “leap forward in our relationship” during a joint press conference in Jerusalem with the German leader, who called it an “important development” that is “of great significance.”
Scholz said that he wants to establish a German-Israeli youth institution and invited the entire Israeli cabinet to Berlin for government talks.
The chancellor is on his first visit to Israel since replacing Angela Merkel, saying that it was “important to visit” the Jewish state early in his term, despite events in the world, in reference to the conflict in Ukraine.
Both leaders called for an immediate cessation of fighting in Ukraine as Russia continued to bombard Ukrainian cities on the seventh day of Moscow’s military invasion.
“We have as leaders a duty to do everything to stop the bloodshed and to move the activity from the battlefield to the negotiating table,” Bennett said. “It’s not too late for that.”
The two men also discussed the Iranian threat, with Scholz insisting that “now is the time to reach a decision” on a nuclear deal at talks in Vienna, while emphasizing that Germany is “committed” to preventing Israel from being endangered by Iran.
Earlier on Wednesday, Scholz toured Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, accompanied by Bennett.
Calling the visit to Yad Vashem “moving,” the German leader said that the visit “clarified Germany’s historical responsibility to Israel,” adding that “Germany will stand on the side of Israel.”