Israeli, German Cabinets ink pacts in joint session


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Seven new bilateral agreements were signed in Israel at a joint meeting of Israeli and German Cabinet ministers.

The agreements signed Monday dealt with bilateral socio-economic and cultural relations, according to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.

"We are allies, Israel and Germany, and we have a great desire, on both sides, to strengthen our relationship and our bilateral cooperation," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday. "We also have the strong desire to advance peace and security in our region. Chancellor Merkel and I spoke at length about several ideas in this regard. We know that we are in a very stormy and unstable period, and we would like to advance stability, peace and security."

In response, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "We have similar values, which makes it very easy for us to cooperate."

It marked the third consecutive year that the two Cabinets have met in a joint session.

In a private meeting before the session, Netanyahu and Merkel reportedly spent much of the time discussing the current unrest in Egypt. Merkel also called on Israel to stop building in West Bank settlements, saying it was hurting the peace process, Haaretz reported.

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