Merkel to discuss Iran, peace with Netanyahu
JERUSALEM - Agence France-Presse
In this Thursday, April 7, 2011photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brief the media after bilateral talks at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany. AP PhotoGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel is to arrive in Israel Monday with her cabinet to promote ties and encourage Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to advance a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
Negotiations between Iran and world powers -- including Germany -- over its nuclear programme will also be high on the agenda of the talks between the two leaders.
"I hope that Germany and the other P5+1 countries will insist on the genuine demands to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state," Netanyahu said on Sunday.
Ahead of her arrival, Merkel stressed she will be supporting efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to bring the Israelis and Palestinians to sign a peace treaty.
"We need, as soon as possible, a stable two-country solution, with a Jewish state of Israel and at the same time a state for the Palestinians," Merkel said in her weekly Saturday podcast.
"We also support the efforts made by US Secretary of State Kerry (and) I will of course use my stay to bring up this issue with the Israeli prime minister".
Merkel and the 16 ministers accompanying her were due to sign cooperation agreements with Israeli ministers in a broad variety of fields including security, diplomacy, economy, justice, science and culture, Netanyahu's office said.
Merkel will dine with Netanyahu on Monday at his residence in Jerusalem, before her official business begins the following day.
Germany and Israel have held regular "government consultations" since 2008.
Merkel's visit will be the fifth such meeting between Germany and Israel. The last was held in Berlin in December 2012.
On Tuesday, Merkel is to receive the Presidential Medal of Distinction from Israeli President Shimon Peres at his Jerusalem residence before returning to Berlin.