U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed that any Palestinian effort to seek UN recognition for statehood should be avoided.

Obama, who was reiterating his own position on the issue, was speaking at a news conference after White House talks with Merkel.

Obama has said in the past that a unilateral UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state would be a meaningless empty gesture.

During Tuesday's news conference, Merkel stressed that "unilateral measures are not helping at all" to bring about a two-state solution.

Obama has repeatedly called on the Palestinians to enter negotiations with Israel and not appeal to the UN for statehood, calling the move a mistake.

"The United Nations can achieve a lot of important work, what it is not going to be able to do is deliver a Palestinian state," Obama said last week in a joint conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. "The only way to see a Palestinian state is if Palestinians and Israelis agree on a just peace."