President Rivlin met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel this evening, Tuesday 28 January / 2 Shevat. The two discussed last week’s World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, and the president expressed his deep appreciation that Germany was represented by its president at the event. President Rivlin also thanked Chancellor Merkel for Germany’s commitment to Israel’s security and for the strategic-security cooperation between the countries, stressing his wish for it to deepen further.

Speaking about bilateral relations, the president said that the number of G2G (government-to-government) meetings was a matter of great satisfaction, adding that it was important to ensure a range of contacts so that the young generation can also play its part in developing and maintaining the relationship.

The two discussed the Middle East regional situation, and the president noted that the Palestinian application to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague is a politicization of the court and discrimination against Israel. On the question of Iranian nuclear ambitions, the president made it clear that the differences in approaches to how to tackle the issue are not easy to bridge, but that it is important to ensure that lines of communication remain open. “Our shared goal is to prevent a nuclear Iran,” he stressed.

Earlier in the afternoon, the president met with the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas. Their meeting focused on the need to ensure that Palestinian’s political use of the ICC is blocked, after the president clarified at length the possible implications of a legal discussion of a matter such as this for IDF soldiers and officers.

After his meeting with the chancellor, the president continued to an official dinner hosted by the President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schauble.