(JNS) Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan visited the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin together on Tuesday, Oct. 6, during their first meeting together in the German capital. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who joined them on the tour of the site – officially called The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe – said during a “The willingness to deal together with the most horrific chapters of history is something that cannot be taken for granted, we know that also here in Germany. But it highlights how serious you are in your efforts for good bilateral cooperation and relations,” said Maas. “This step has also got things moving in the region; Bahrain, which has now also decided to take up diplomatic relations with Israel, is one example. Saudi Arabia, which has opened its airspace for direct flights from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, is another. This momentum, and the same courage, will help us to create new momentum to overcome the impasse in the Middle East peace process,” said Maas.
Bin Zayed said that in the wake of the Abraham Accords, “the Middle East is witnessing a new chapter on its path towards freedom and peace.”
“I would like to assure you that the opportunities in our region for more cooperation in different sectors exist, in terms of security and also in terms of technology. On an international level, the Emirates is committed, together with its Israeli partners and its German partners, to fulfill this role,” he said.
Ashkenazi thanked his UAE counterpart for his initiative in setting up the meeting, saying, “I would like to thank your country for the courage and the farsightedness and the vision you have for promoting peace through the peace accords,” he said.
Ashkenazi then turned to the joint visit to the Holocaust Memorial. Their presence there together symbolized the beginning of a new era of hope and peace, Ashkenazi tweeted.
“The three of us stood there in silence and we commemorated the victims, and for the first time in history, a representative – a foreign minister – of an Arab state was present. Together, we promised each other to never forget,” he said at the press conference.
At the press conference, Ashkenazi concluded his remarks by urging the Palestinians to resume peace talks. “I would like to take this opportunity to call on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table,” he said. “Only through direct negotiations will we be able to find a solution to the conflict. The longer we drag this out and the longer we wait for negotiations to begin, the more complex it will be, and it will be transferred to future demonstrations. They will be faced with a difficult reality.”
Main Photo: Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi (center), United Arab Emirates Foreign MInister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (left) and German Foreign MInister Heiko Maas (second from left) visit the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany, on Oct. 6, 2020. Source: Twitter.