BERLIN -- 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 insisted, in a phone conversation Monday, on the continued relevance of a two-state solution, saying that should be the goal of international efforts.
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 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.