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Israel hails Italy's opposition to Palestinian state bid

June 13, 2011 6:37 A.M. (Updated: June 14, 2011 8:57 A.M.)
ROME (AFP) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday declared his opposition to a bid by the Palestinians for UN membership, earning thanks from his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.

"We do not believe that a unilateral solution can help peace, neither on the Palestinian side nor on the Israeli side. I believe peace can only be reached with a common initiative through negotiations," Berlusconi told reporters following talks with Netanyahu in Rome.

"I want to thank you for your clear position against the attempt to bypass peace negotiations. Peace will only come through negotiations," Netanyahu said.

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