Merkel Stresses Need for Two-state Solution to Netanyahu Following Annexation Pledge

German chancellor calls the prime minister to congratulate him on reelection, expressing willingness to work closely with the new government

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at an extraordinary European Union leaders summit to discuss Brexit, in Brussels, Belgium, April 10, 2019.
\ EVA PLEVIER/ REUTERS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his re-election and stressed the need to work toward a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Merkel's office said she stressed in a phone conversation Monday the continued relevance of a two-state solution, which she said should be the goal of international efforts.

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Merkel also expressed her willingness to work closely and trustingly with the incoming Israeli government.

During the final stretch of his election campaign, Netanyahu pledged for the first time to annex parts of the West Bank in a desperate bid to rally his right-wing base. Netanyahu has reneged on election eve promises before, but should he follow through on this one, it would mark a dramatic development and potentially wipe out the already diminishing hope for Palestinian statehood.

The German Ambassador to Israel Susanne Wasum-Rainer also expressed willingness to work with the new government, tweeting, "We are looking forward 2 continuing excellent German-Israeli cooperation with the new Israeli government. The German Embassy will play a strong part in this."