Merkel reaffirms German support for Israel after UN vote

By REUTERS
December 1, 2012 14:49

 
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BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel reassured Israel of her country's support on Saturday, two days after Berlin disappointed the Jewish state by abstaining in a UN vote on the Palestinians' status.

Germany, which will host Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and many of his ministers next week, abstained in Thursday's vote in the UN General Assembly which provided de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state.

Netanyahu's government had hoped that Berlin would join the United States and a handful of other countries in opposing the resolution.

Germany, haunted by memories of the Nazi regime and the Holocaust, tends to be a strong ally of Israel on the diplomatic stage.

"Germany will always stand on the side of Israel on the issue (of Israeli security)," Merkel said in her weekly podcast, and spoke of Berlin's vocal backing for Israel during its latest clashes with Hamas.

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