Merkel calls to halt settlement construction

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Visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Israel to halt all construction in West Bank settlements which she said are an obstacle to peace. Merkel stressed the importance of moving the Israeli Palestinian peace process forward, especially in light of the situation in Egypt. Netanyahu told Merkel the settlements are not an obstacle for peace and stressed that building in the settlements had decreased since he came to power. He noted that it was upto the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table if peace talks are to progress.