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

Fighting Ebola

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fighting IS

Fighting IS

Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders.  Full Article 

Hong Kong Unrest

Hong Kong Unrest

Hong Kong students, officials set for first talks on political crisis.  Full Article 

Iran Nuclear Talks

Iran Nuclear Talks

Exclusive: Iran offers "compromises" in nuclear talks, West unmoved  Full Article 

Rousseff Inches Ahead

Rousseff Inches Ahead

Polls shows Rousseff gaining momentum as Brazil election nears  Full Article 

Suffering Children

Suffering Children

Violence kills a child every five minutes, most outside war zones - U.N.  Full Article 

Putin's Proposal

Putin's Proposal

Polish ex-minister quoted saying Putin offered to divide Ukraine with Poland.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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