German-Israeli Government Meeting Cancelled Amid Settlements Row

BERLIN (Reuters) -

A meeting between the governments of Germany and Israel that was scheduled to take place in May has been canceled amid rising frustration in Berlin over continued construction in Yehudah and Shomron.

A German spokesman said the governments had agreed to “postpone” the annual meeting of leaders and ministers until next year, blaming the delay on the busy schedule of meetings surrounding Germany’s presidency of the G20.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed the session has been called off, citing “schedule constraints on the German side.”

But German officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, suggested the real reason for the cancellation was the feeling that the two governments were too far apart on the issue of Middle East peace to make such a meeting worthwhile.

“Our relations have been completely pared back,” one senior German official said. “We have practically given up on making progress in the current environment.”

German governments have made strong relations with Israel a top priority ever since World War II.