Obama, Merkel call on Palestinians to avoid UN state bid

US President Barack Obama briefly touched on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington on Tuesday, saying both leaders agreed "unilateral actions such as the Palestinians seeking a vote on statehood at the UN General Assembly should be avoided."
"I thanked the chancellor for her support of the principles I laid out last month as the basis for negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. I want to commend Angela for her personal efforts to bring the parties back to the negotiating table," Obama stated, referencing his Middle East speech last month in which he said that peace talks should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed upon swaps.
Obama stated that the two leaders also agreed upon the importance of curbing Iran's nuclear program and warned that further sanctions against the Islamic Republic could follow if Tehran continued to rebuff IAEA inspectors.