German FM Urges Palestinians Not to Tear Down Bridges

RAMALLAH (AP) -
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (L) with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki in Ramallah, Monday. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

Germany’s new foreign minister has urged the Palestinians “not to tear down bridges,” an apparent reference to President Mahmoud Abbas’ contentious relationship with the U.S. and political rival Hamas.

Heiko Maas spoke Monday, after meeting with Abbas and the Palestinian foreign minister.
Maas says the new German government remains committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Trump administration has refused to make such a commitment. In December, President Donald Trump recognized Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital, prompting Pres. Abbas to rule out the U.S. as a future Mideast broker and boycott meetings with Washington officials.

Maas said Monday that peace efforts without the U.S. “would be difficult.”

Meanwhile, months-long efforts to sideline Hamas in Gaza through a deal with Pres. Abbas appear to have collapsed after a Gaza bombing narrowly missed Abbas’ prime minister this month.