Netanyahu and Kerry to meet in Berlin next week
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Netanyahu and Kerry to meet in Berlin next week

Secretary of State tells PM in phone call Abbas must condemn violence outright, backs Israeli right to act against violence

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during their meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 24, 2014. (PMO)
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during their meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 24, 2014. (PMO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expects to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry in Berlin next week, Israeli officials said Friday.

“I know they were trying to work something out, because the prime minister is traveling to Germany to talk to Angela Merkel, and so Secretary of State Kerry will travel there to make it happen,” Ambassador Ron Dermer told CNN.

Earlier, Merkel’s office had said that the German chancellor would meet Netanyahu on Wednesday in Berlin.

Separately, an Israeli official told AFP that details were still being worked out but that “Netanyahu and Kerry agreed to try to meet when the prime minister travels to Berlin next week.”

The US State Department was not immediately able to confirm that Kerry plans to meet the Israeli leader, but the news broke as he was already on a flight to Europe for planned meetings in Milan, Madrid and Paris.

Before leaving, Kerry had said he hoped to travel to the Middle East region “in the coming days” in order to try to cool tempers between Israelis and Palestinians amid a new spate of violence in Jerusalem.

Kerry and Netanyahu spoke by telephone Friday evening and the secretary told the prime minister that Israelis had the right to defend themselves against “any violence” in Jerusalem or anywhere else in the country.

The Palestinians, Kerry said according to media reports, must cease incitement and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must condemn violence loudly and clearly.

Kerry reportedly told Netanyahu that Israel was battling terrorism with appropriate force, walking back previous statements from State Department officials who said Israel may have been acting excessively.

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