W. Bank: German FM meets with PA finance minister

Germany's foreign minister met with the Palestinian Authority finance minister Saturday, the first talks in the region between a senior German official and a member of the new Palestinian Authority unity government. The visitor, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, met with Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, an independent, at a hotel in the biblical town of Bethlehem, just meters from Israel's security fence in the West Bank. Later in the day, Steinmeier was to visit Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity and a German-run school. After Bethlehem, Steinmeier was also to travel to the West Bank city of Ramallah for talks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti and Foreign Minister Ziad Abu Amr.