Creating new perspectives since 2009

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives in Jordan for meeting with King Abdullah

March 17, 2024 at 2:10 pm

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and Jordanian King Abdullah II (L) holds a joint press conference in Berlin, Germany on October 17, 2023. [Royal Hashemite Court (RHC)-Handout – Anadolu Agency]

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrived Saturday in the southern Jordanian city of Aqaba, where he is scheduled Sunday to meet King Abdullah II, according to the official Jordanian news agency, Anadolu Agency reports.

Earlier Saturday, Scholz told journalists ahead of his trip that he would first engage in talks with Abdullah and noted his plans to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and other officials in Israel.

“It is necessary for aid to reach Gaza on a larger scale now. That will be a topic that I also have to talk about,” said Scholz.

Expressing concerns about potential military developments ahead, Scholz said: “There is a danger that a comprehensive offensive in Rafah will result in many terrible civilian casualties, which must be strictly prohibited.”

Scholz reiterated support for Israel and its right to defend itself against the Palestinian resistance, Hamas, while emphasizing the importance of adhering to international law, avoiding civilian casualties, ensuring humanitarian aid reaches Gaza and addressing long-term peace development.

READ: Germany airdrops 4 tons of humanitarian aid into Gaza for 1st time

He also highlighted the importance of quickly reaching an agreement on a humanitarian pause in the conflict that would allow the release of prisoners and the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack led by Hamas in which 1,163 people were killed.

More than 31,500 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in Gaza, and 73,546 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of most food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide, and guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: Jordan, US discuss efforts for immediate cease-fire in Gaza