German and Swedish foreign ministers agree on Gaza standpoint

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stockholm, Sweden — On Monday, the German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle visited Stockholm for his first time. He met with Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt, to coordinate in-depth views on matters such as the situation in Gaza and Kyrgyzstan.

Wikinews was at a press briefing by the ministers. Carl Bildt started by saying: “We work closely together in the European Union, now we had the opportunity to sit down and go through the agenda and coordinate issues. The relations between Sweden and Germany are good, and that is hardly news.”

Guido Westerwelle continued, commenting that “we have foremost discussed the situation in the Middle East. We emphasize that the decision of the Israeli government is a step in the correct direction, but we are convinced that there must be a total opening of the Gaza area. We want to support the moderate forces and help the life of people.”

“This is also our common European view, and last week at a foreign minister meeting we agreed that full opening of the Gaza area is the goal. We work to influence our discussion partners in the Middle East, in particular the Israeli government, and also consider that the two-state solution without doubt is the only solution for peace.”

Carl Bildt mentioned that they would have the opportunity for a short walk in scenic Old Town, Stockholm, and a short boat trip, while discussing further issues.

When asked about the situation in Kyrgyzstan, Carl Bildt told the reporters that “the situation is exceedingly worrying; the information we had over the weekend talks about the order of 2,000 dead and the order of 400,000 people who left their homes. This is in a very fragile part of central Asia.”

“What we see necessary now is first to stabilize the situation quickly, then to be certain our aid is reaching people. There are talks about an international civilian police mission, to build the confidence which is a necessity for people to return. The situation is alarming.”

Guido Westerwelle agreed, and said that “the first we do is protection of our European citizens, the second and very important is to protect the refugees so they have the chance to come to safe circumstances, and thirdly to stabilize the situation. Germany has started very quickly with a programme to help the refugees.”

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