US's Kerry, Israel's Netanyahu to meet in Germany next week

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Germany next week to discuss the recent spate of violence between Israel and Palestinians in which 39 people have been killed, the Israeli ambassador to Washington said on Friday.

A US State Department statement said Kerry spoke with the Israeli prime minister on the phone today on “how best to end the recent wave of violence, and to offer US support for efforts to restore calm as soon as possible.”

Another statement said Kerry had a call with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday and “reiterated the importance of avoiding further violence and preventing inflammatory rhetoric, accusations.”

Kerry, who has said he planned to go to the Middle East soon to try to calm the violence, was travelling to Europe on Friday. Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, confirmed the planned meeting in Germany during an interview with CNN.

"That discussion will be, 'OK, how do we get back to where we were in order to calm things down,'" Dermer said.

Earlier, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Netanyahu will travel to Germany on Wednesday for talks with Merkel on the security situation in Israel and the wider Middle East.

Mark Toner, a US State Department spokesman, said in a daily press briefing that Kerry was likely to meet the Israeli prime minister, “probably” in Germany, but details of the trip were still being finalised.