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Merkel calls Netanyahu, stresses need for 2-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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 stressed in a phone conversation on Monday the continued relevance of a two-state solution, which she said should be the goal of international efforts, according to her office. 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 occupied West Bank in a bid to rally his right-wing base. Should he follow through on this, it would potentially wipe out the already diminishing hope for Palestinian statehood, AP said.