Germany's parliament on Thursday marked Israel's 60th anniversary, with the country's foreign minister underlining his country's commitment to the Jewish state and to Middle East peace efforts.
Germany has proven a staunch ally of Israel and often has stressed the historical responsibility for the country that stems from the Nazi Holocaust.
"From the responsibility for the past grows the commitment for the future," Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a speech in Berlin's restored Reichstag building. He also underlined Germany's desire to do more to help advance efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.
The minister plans a four-day trip to Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories starting this weekend - a trip that comes ahead of a June 24 conference in Berlin expected to focus on the Palestinian police and justice systems.