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      Netanyahu to Meet with Merkel Following UN Vote

      Netanyahu will travel to Germany next week for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, primarily regarding the volatile situation in Mideast.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 12/2/2012, 1:40 AM

       PM Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
      PM Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
      Reuters

      Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will travel to Germany next week for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, primarily regarding the situation in the Middle East, Berlin said on Friday.

      Netanyahu’s visit to Berlin on Wednesday and Thursday is part of a further round of German-Israeli government consultations, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said, according to AFP.

      The two leaders are due to have a dinner on Wednesday evening at the chancellery, followed by consultations the following day that will focus on "innovation, education and sustainability."

      "The chancellor anticipates good, open and friendly discussions as usual," Seibert told a government news briefing.

      The meeting will come a week after the UN General Assembly voted to grant an upgraded status of “non-member” observer state to the Palestinian Authority, in a move adamantly opposed by Israel and from which Germany abstained.

      "Israel is not surprised by our decision," a German official said on Thursday.

      The American Jewish Committee issued a statement saying it regretted Germany's decision to not vote against the motion.

      "The German government concedes that the unilateral Palestinian action at the U.N. is detrimental to a politically-negotiated solution, yet fails to give a clear vote. Even if the Germans couldn't find common ground with their EU partners it is in the interest of transatlantic relations to take the same line as Israel and the United States," the statement read.