BERLIN, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas here on Friday and promised that the upcoming new government will continue aid to the Palestinian territories.
"We have always advocated aiding and supporting the Palestinian territories, advancing the peace process, advancing economic development," Merkel told visiting Abbas at the chancellery, adding that the next coalition government, likely between her conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD), will conduct foreign policy with continuity.
Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) agreed on Thursday to enter into formal talks with the SPD on forming a "grand coalition" to rule Europe's largest economy for the next four years.
Merkel also urged Israel to restrain itself in extending Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Abbas said the Palestinian side is earnest in conducting talks with Israel.
"We should accept this historic opportunity. We appeal to the Israeli side to seize this chance," Abbas said at a joint press conference, referring to the agreement the U.S. Obama administration brokered in July, which brought the Palestinians back to the negotiating table after nearly three years of halt.