German Chancellor Angela Merkel will arrive in Israel onMonday, 24 February 2014, along with a delegation of 16 German government ministers, for the fifth meeting between the Israeli and German governments, which will mark 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two governments.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Chancellor Merkel at his official residence in Jerusalem. A joint meeting of the two governments will be held on Tuesday, 25 February; agreements will also be signed.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman will host the visiting ministers for dinner on Monday evening, and on Tuesday morning will hold a working meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Cooperation agreements are due to be signed on marking 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany, during 2015, as well as on security, foreign relations, economics and trade, justice, energy, environmental protection, agriculture, transportation, education (including technological education), science and research and development, culture and sports, interior, health, increasing mutual financing for cancer research, social welfare services, projects regarding senior citizens, advancing projects in developing countries, and preservation of the White City of Tel Aviv as the largest collection in the world of Bauhaus architecture.
The Israeli government will be represented by Prime Minister Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, Interior Minister Gideon Saar, National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Yair Shamir, Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri, Education Minister Shai Piron, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, Transportation and Road Safety Minister Yaakov Katz, Health Minister Yael German, Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach, Social Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen, Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
The German government will be represented by Chancellor Merkel, Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, Justice and Consumer Protection Minister Heiko Maas, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Andrea Nahles, Food and Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth Minister Manuela Schwesig, Health Minister Hermann Grohe, Transport and Digital infrastructure Minister Alexander Dobrindt, Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety Minister Barbara Hendricks, Education and Research Minister Johanna Wanka, Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Gerd Muller, Minister of State Helga Braun and Minister of State Monika Grutters.
At the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting this morning (Sunday, 23 February 2014), Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "German Chancellor Angela Merkel will arrive in Israel tomorrow. She comes as a friend of Israel with a considerable entourage. We will talk with them in order to deepen bilateral cooperation. Of course, I will discuss with her two diplomatic issues of the highest order. Regarding our negotiations with the Palestinians, I will make it clear that the infrastructure of peace between us and the Palestinians will be based on the mutual recognition of two national states, i.e. the necessity of Palestinian recognition of the Jewish state, the national state of the Jewish People.
I will also discuss with her about the nuclear talks. Since Germany is part of the P5+1, I view with concern that fact that Iran believes that it will realize its plan to be a nuclear threshold state, with an enrichment capacity that it thinks cannot be touched, with the ability to develop both nuclear weapons and inter-continental missiles, which it is continuing to work on unhindered. This combination of enrichment, weapons and launch capabilities, says that Iran is, in effect, receiving everything and giving almost nothing. This is the current situation. The permanent agreement cannot render this situation permanent. It must dismantle the Iranian ability to either produce or launch nuclear weapons, and this has yet to be achieved, and without the insistence of the major powers it will not be achieved. 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."