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Israel thanks Czech Republic for support at UN

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December 1, 2012 12:25 PM EST | AP

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JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked his Czech counterpart for Prague's vote at the U.N. against recognizing a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu's office on Saturday called the Czech vote "courageous" and said the Israeli leader will visit Prague this week en route to Germany to personally thank Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas.

The Palestinians' upgrade to nonvoting observer state status passed at the U.N General Assembly 138-9, with 41 abstentions last week. The U.S. and Canada also voted against the upgrade.

Israel says a two-state solution to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians should be reached through peace talks and not by unilateral moves.

The Palestinians' new status bolsters its position for independence and grants it access to U.N. agencies and international bodies, most significantly the International Criminal Court.