German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who strongly condemned the Iranian-hosted conference debating whether the Holocaust occurred, declared Tuesday that her country "will never accept this." "I would like to make clear that we reject with all our strength the conference taking place in Iran about the supposed nonexistence of the Holocaust," Merkel said at a news conference alongside Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
PMO denies Olmert disclosed Israel's nuclear hand
"We absolutely reject this; Germany will never accept this and will act against it with all the means that we have," Merkel said.
Despite Germany's stance on the Teheran-based conference, Merkel said that as far as she was concerned there was no military option on the table to deal with the Iranian nuclear program. She said that sanctions will be discussed at the end of the month at the United Nations Security Council. Merkel mentioned German efforts to free Gilad Shalit and said that unfortunately they had not been successful.
Regarding German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's recent visit to Syria, which listed criticism last week from Olmert, Merkel said that they were hoping to hear something constructive from the Syrians but were disappointed.
Germany will take over the rotating presidency of the European Union at the beginning of the year and Merkel said that Germany will remain steadfast behind the international community criteria for recognizing the Palestinian Authority government, and remained committed to the Quartet framework. These words come in the context of increased calls in Europe for new initiatives to move the diplomatic process with the Palestinians forward.
Olmert met with Merkel on Tuesday afternoon, following a three-hour unannounced meeting on Monday night. The Prime Minister's Office said the two had discussed Iran and the Palestinians at the Monday night meeting.
Earlier Tuesday, Olmert headed to Berlin's Grunewald train station to speak in a ceremony at Track 17, a memorial to the Jews who were deported from the train station to ghettos and concentration camps in the east, as part of an official visit to Germany that began on Monday.
"Woe to the weak and the defenseless; woe to those who do not believe those who threaten to destroy us," Olmert was expected to say in his speech - significant comments in light of the threats being heard from Teheran.
"Woe to the apathetic who don't prepare themselves to thwart every danger; woe to those who harbor false illusionsâ€¦and who rely on the grace of foreigners."
Olmert was to also set to meet German President Horst Koehler later in the day.