Olmert discusses summit with Merkel

PM stresses "great interest" in a successful result; German FM lauds Arab states for attending.

angela merkel 88 (photo credit: )
angela merkel 88
(photo credit: )
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stressed his "great interest" in a successful outcome to next week's Middle East peace conference in a phone call Saturday to Germany's chancellor, the German government said. Germany is among the nations that will be represented at the US-sponsored meeting in Annapolis, Maryland. It is a key player in the European Union, which is ready to back up an agreement with financial aid, Olmert telephoned Chancellor Angela Merkel and "underlined his great interest in the success of the meeting in Annapolis," the German government said in a brief statement. It said Merkel pointed to the EU's plan to support the peace process, and that Olmert acknowledged "the significance of the European contribution." Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is to represent Germany at Annapolis. On Saturday, Steinmeier welcomed as "an important signal for peace" a decision by the Arab League to attend. "With this, the Arab states are showing that they stand by their responsibility to make a contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East," he said in a statement.