Country Reports

Visit of the Chairman of KAS, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Vogel

During his visit Prof. Dr. Bernhard Vogel, Chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), got an in-depth view of the current situation in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories and of the projects of the country office. He met representatives of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian civil society as well as partners of KAS Ramallah. He also visited the Schmidt-School in East-Jerusalem.
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Vogel, Chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), during his visit held talks with representatives of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian civil society as well as partners of KAS Ramallah. He also visited the Schmidt-School in East-Jerusalem.

At a common dinner the possibility of discussion was used by Prof. Vogel and representatives of the Palestinian civil society in East-Jerusalem. Motivated discussions took place with academics such as Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, President of Al-Quds University, journalists, business men and politicians, mainly about the situation of the Arabic East-Jerusalem and the outcome of the Palestinian parliamentary elections.

In a talk with Mr. Miguel Berger, Head of the German Representative Office, the development of the German-Palestinian relations and the work of the Representative Office in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories were the focus of discussion.

In a meeting with Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council from the Party “Third Way” and representative of several important NGOs, the talks focused on the policies of the Palestinian Autonomy (PA), the situation of Christians in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories, and the consequences of the possible results of the elections. In a subsequent meeting with Dr. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), the importance of the polls supported by KAS were demonstrated. There was a briefing on the upcoming parliamentary elections based on the results of these polls. The talks with Dr. Saeb Erekat, Director of the Negotiation Affairs Department, focused on the political dynamics of negotiations with Israel and the development of the peace process according to the Road Map.

Afterwards a meeting with the Minister of Planning, Ghassan Al-Khatib, took place. The implications of the Israeli Disengagement in Gaza were discussed as well as the possible effects of the open border to Egypt and the viability of a state consisting of two separate geographical parts. In the evening Prof. Vogel held talks with Dr. Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem about the situation of Christians in the Holy Land.

On Thursday, Prof. Vogel visited the Schmidt-School in East-Jerusalem, whose governing body is the German Association of the Holy Land. This secondary school, which was founded in 1886, provides about 500 Christian and Muslim Palestinian girls of East-Jerusalem and surrounding towns of the West Bank with qualified education starting with pre-school leading up to final secondary-school examinations. In conversation with the Director of the school, Mr. Nikolaus Kircher, as well as representatives of the pupils and teachers discussions focused on the religious coexistence. Mr. Kircher underlined the high motivation of his students and emphasized the engagement of the parents in school life. The relations of the school to Germany were a topic as well. The director explained that many students of Schmidt-school study in Germany after graduating. Prof. Vogel gave a book donation of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung to Mr. Kircher for the school library.