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Originally published Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 2:19 AM

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Merkel meets Netanyahu amid tense relations

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are meeting in Berlin for talks amid tension over Berlin's refusal to vote against a Palestinian U.N. statehood bid and widespread frustration across Europe over Israel's plans to expand settlements.

The Associated Press

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BERLIN —

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are meeting in Berlin for talks amid tension over Berlin's refusal to vote against a Palestinian U.N. statehood bid and widespread frustration across Europe over Israel's plans to expand settlements.

The two leaders had dinner together on Wednesday evening and were hosting talks, along with most of their Cabinet ministers, Thursday morning.

The meeting of the two governments is an annual tradition and is generally amicable but comes at a time when both sides have expressed displeasure with one another's recent political moves.

When meetings were held last year in Israel, Merkel used the occasion to criticize Israel's settlement policy. She's widely expected to address Israel's recent announcement of plans to build 3,000 new settler homes.

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