Netanyahu to visit Merkel in Berlin next week

16th October 2015, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host Benjamin Netanyahu next week, after the Israeli leader postponed talks earlier this month over unrest in his country, Berlin said Friday.

Next Wednesday "the chancellor and the Israeli prime minister will at their meeting discuss the current security situation in Israel and in the region," said Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert.

A joint press conference is scheduled for 1700 GMT before the leaders have dinner, he said.

Netanyahu had originally been due to visit Berlin on October 8 for an annual joint cabinet meeting and bilateral talks with Merkel.

But on October 7, he postponed the visit citing the "security situation", amid a series of clashes and attacks involving Palestinians, Israeli security forces and Jewish settlers.

Germany is widely seen as Israel's strongest European ally but ties have been strained in recent years as Merkel has joined Western leaders in criticising Israel's settlements in the West Bank.

Netanyahu strongly opposes a deal hammered out by six world powers including Germany and Iran ending a 13-year standoff over the Islamic republic's nuclear programme.

© 2015 AFP

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