Germany's Merkel, Palestinian's Abbas back ceasefire efforts

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by telephone on Thursday to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about the current conflict in the Middle East, with both agreeing to support efforts to reach a ceasefire, Merkel’s spokesman said.

“Merkel and President Abbas agreed that the initiatives for a speedy ceasefire should be further supported,” he said in a statement.

Merkel also underlined Israel’s right to self-defense in the face of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, the statement said.

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