May 11, 11:32 AM EDT

German, Israeli presidents mark 50 years of diplomacy

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BERLIN (AP) -- German President Joachim Gauck has met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, saying that even though they disagree on some issues the countries are bound together by shared values.

Gauck said Monday he had explained Germany's position on why it supports negotiating a deal with Iran on its nuclear program, and told Rivlin, who opposes Palestinian statehood, that Germany believes in a two-state solution.

Gauck said he was certain that despite "differences in the assessment of certain policies" the visit would expand the friendship between the nations.

Ahead of the trip, Rivlin reflected that though he originally protested the opening of diplomatic relations, the friendship has "built steadily over the years."

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