Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, accompanied by the Speaker of the Bundestag, Bärbel Bas, embarked on a solidarity visit to Israel this Sunday morning amid the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip.
Steinmeier and Bas departed for Tel Aviv at 10:30 local time in response to an invitation from Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Notably, the German and Israeli Presidents share a close friendship.
Accompanying Steinmeier on this trip is his wife, Elke Büdenbender. Following their visit to Israel, the delegation plans to continue their diplomatic journey to both Amman and Qatar.
In a video message broadcasted on Saturday, President Steinmeier reaffirmed Israel's right to self-defense against Hamas but also called for adherence to humanitarian rules.
He advocated for a two-state solution, emphasizing that peace requires more security for Israel and a viable future for Palestinians.
A key topic of the political discussions, Steinmeier noted, will be the release of hostages held by Hamas. He expressed relief following the release of the first group of hostages.
During his visit to Qatar, Steinmeier intends to discuss the potential continuation of negotiations, affirming that "the release of all hostages is the only way to end the war."