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Merkel says Israeli settlements 'counterproductive'

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said following talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the building of Jewish settlements was counterproductive and urged Israel and the Palestinians to calm the situation after weeks of violence.
"I have said this quite often that as regards the two-state solution we consider the settlements to be counterproductive," Merkel said.
"I have said this time and again. We have to do everything to calm down the situation and in this spirit I think all sides need to make a contribution."
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