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President of Israel’s visit to Germany

In close partnership

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday met with the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, in the Chancellery. The President had taken part in an event in Munich on Wednesday to commemorate the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre at which the new 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre Memorial was also unveiled.

Rivlin and Merkel in front of the Chancellery Angela Merkel and Reuven Rivilin discussed bilateral relations and the Middle East conflict during their meeting Photo: Bundesregierung Steins

Chancellor Merkel and President Rivlin discussed relations between their two countries and, in particular, the current situation in Israel. They also talked about the conflict in the Middle East and crises in the region.

Remembering the victims of the terrorist attack

President Rivlin attended the ceremony held on Wednesday to commemorate the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre on the invitation of the Bavarian State Chancellery. The Israeli President unveiled the new memorial together with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Minister-President of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer.

The ceremony was also attended by relatives of the 12 victims of the attack: 11 Israeli athletes and a Bavarian police officer. The memorial on the Lindenhügel in the Olympic Park in Munich was opened 45 years to the day after Palestinian terrorists attacked the Israeli team at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

On 5 September 1972 11 Israeli athletes were taken hostage during the Olympic Games in Munich. A rescue attempt on Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base subsequently failed.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said during the unveiling ceremony: “It is an inseparable part of our way of life in Germany that we are committed to remembering our history and the history of the Shoah, our resulting responsibility for Israel’s security, and that we reject all forms of anti-Semitism whatsoever.”

Close partnership between Israel and Germany

Angela Merkel had previously spoken about German–Israeli relations in a speech she made in January 2016 during her visit to the exhibition Art from the Holocaust – 100 Works from Yad Vashem:

“We can now look back on a little over 50 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany. It was Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and Federal Chancellor Adenauer who first dared a cautious rapprochement.

“And it was their circumspection and vision that enabled them to lay the foundations for our two countries’ close partnership. Taking those first steps was far from easy. It took a great deal of effort on the part of many people in Israel to nonetheless take these steps. That was all too understandable. Of course, it took time and patience to build trust in a new, humane and democratic Germany. Today, Israel and Germany maintain a close partnership.”

Sep 07, 2017