Merkel meets Netanyahu amid blatant intervention over illegal Bedouin outpost

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Israel on Wednesday for a short official visit. Upon her arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport, Merkel was received by Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara welcomed Merkel to the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu and Merkel held a meeting with their entourages as part of a working dinner at the residence.

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Earlier today, Merkel threatened to cancel her arrival to Israel if the illegal Bedouin outpost Khan el-Ahmar in the Ma’aleh Adumim area is evacuated.

“If this is true, it’s a blatant, serious, and dangerous intervention,” Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen said, “Israel is a sovereign state with a strong and independent court, and we’ve long since ceased to be a tool to salve the conscience of the Europeans.”

PM Netanyahu and government ministers will hold an inter-governmental (G2G) meeting tomorrow with Chancellor Merkel and German government ministers. This will be the seventh such meeting in the last decade.

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The inter-governmental consultations will focus on security, scientific, economic, cultural and cyber cooperation. There will also be a series of discussions and the signing of MOUs the goal of which is to strengthen bilateral relations.

Since the 15 February 2016 inter-governmental (G2G) consultations in Jerusalem, there has been significant progress in various fields including security, trade, culture and community affairs.