World

German, Israeli presidents mark 50 years of diplomacy; cite strong friendship, shared values

  • Mayor of Berlin Michael Mueller, right, and President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, left, shake hands as they pose in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    Mayor of Berlin Michael Mueller, right, and President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, left, shake hands as they pose in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mayor of Berlin Michael Mueller, right, and President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, left, smile as they pose in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    Mayor of Berlin Michael Mueller, right, and President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, left, smile as they pose in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mayor of Berlin Michael Mueller, right, the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, center, and his wife Nechama Rivlin, left, talk as they pose in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    Mayor of Berlin Michael Mueller, right, the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, center, and his wife Nechama Rivlin, left, talk as they pose in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

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."