United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Berlin early in the morning of Wednesday, 21 February.
His first appointment was at the Reichstag, where he met with Dr. Norbert Lammert, President of the Bundestag.
At 11 a.m., he met with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, following which he spoke to the press. On the situation in the Middle East, he said he was encouraged by recent diplomatic initiatives, including the most recent Mecca deal, as well as the trilateral meeting between the United States, Palestinian Authority and Israel. He said it is important for the international community to encourage the ongoing diplomatic initiative in the Middle East.
The Secretary-General was asked about Iran’s nuclear programme, and he said: “I would strongly urge the Iranian authorities to comply, first of all, fully with the Security Council resolution, and continue to negotiate with the international community.”
In the afternoon, he met with Iraq’s Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, and with Germany’s Minister for Economic Development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul.
Later in the day, he met with the other principal members of the Quartet for the Middle East. In a statement issued later, and read by the Secretary-General, the Quartet expressed the hope that the dialogue initiated between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would continue in the framework of a renewed political process. The Quartet reaffirmed its determination to promote such a process, in cooperation with the parties and other regional partners. It also urged the parties to refrain from measures that prejudge issues to be resolved in negotiations. (See Press Release SG/2124.)
Before departure to Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, the Secretary-General met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They discussed the Middle East and the Mecca accord, the situation in Lebanon, the nuclear issue with Iran, the future status of Kosovo, climate change and the Peacebuilding Commission.