Germany's Merkel cautions ally Israel on settlements

BERLIN Thu Dec 6, 2012 6:28pm IST

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) gestures during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after bilateral talks at the Chancellery in Berlin December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) gestures during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after bilateral talks at the Chancellery in Berlin December 6, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

Related Topics

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel called upon ally Israel to work for a two-state solution with the Palestinians and avoid one-sided actions that endanger prospects for peace.

Germany has traditionally been one of Israel's strongest supporters but an Israeli plan to build 3,000 settler homes in one of the most sensitive areas of the West Bank has caused a storm of international protest and open criticism from Berlin.

"We agreed that we disagree on this," Merkel said at a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin on Thursday.

"We in Germany believe the work on a two-state solution must be continued... We must keep trying to come to negotiations and one-sided moves should be avoided," she added, while reiterating her commitment to the security of Israel.

The new settlement plan came after the U.N. General Assembly voted to effectively recognize Palestinian statehood last week.

Palestinians say the new settlements on land they seek for their state could bisect the West Bank and cut them off from Jerusalem, their would-be capital.

Netanyahu told a German newspaper he was disappointed that Germany had abstained in the U.N. vote. But on Thursday he said he had no doubt that Berlin was committed to Israel's wellbeing.

He said he still believed he had support from Europe, even after the European Union and several of its member states summoned their Israeli envoys to protest at the settlement plan.

"I don't think we have lost Europe," Netanyahu said. "But there is obviously a difference of view in Europe on the issue of the settlements."

(Additional reporting by Madeline Chambers and Stephen Brown)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fight Unites

Fight Unites

Kurds' battle for Kobani unites a people divided by borders.  Full Article 

Controversial Remark

Controversial Remark

Thousands denounce HSBC board member's likening of Hong Kong people to freed slaves.  Full Article 

Apple's Cook signals front line of new gay rights battle

Cook Speaks Up

Apple's Cook signals front line of new gay rights battle.  Full Article 

Gas Deal

Gas Deal

Ukraine, Russia, EU agree to natural gas supply deal.  Full Article 

Jerusalem Tensions

Jerusalem Tensions

Kerry urges restraint, expresses worry over tensions in Jerusalem.  Full Article 

Myanmar Roundtable

Myanmar Roundtable

Obama urges progress in Myanmar ahead of rare roundtable.  Full Article 

Active Volcano

Active Volcano

National Guard arrives in Hawaii town threatened by lava.  Full Article 

Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

U.S. defense chief will not discuss "critical" Syria memo .  Full Article 

Political Upheavel

Political Upheavel

Burkina president rejects opposition calls to step down after violence.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage