German Chancellor Merkel to Visit Israel in January | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 18.12.2005
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German Chancellor Merkel to Visit Israel in January

Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Israel in late January to lend support to the Jewish state after a series of inflammatory verbal attacks from Iran's hardline president.

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Merkel plans to visit Israel to show solidarity with the Jewish state

The government press office announced Merkel's first trip to the Middle East since she took office on Nov. 22 but gave no precise dates or further details.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has caused international outrage by saying Israel -- which he described as a tumor -- should be wiped off the map, and that the Nazi's mass extermination of Jews in World War II was a "myth."

The conservative chancellor this week said Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust was "incomprehensible."

Germany is considering asking the United Nations Security Council to punish Iran for its president's remarks, Merkel's chief of staff Thomas de Mazieres told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper Sunday.

German members of parliament Friday unanimously condemned Ahmadinejad's remarks as "incompatible with the standards of the international community."

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