JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he spoke with the chief executive of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries <TEVA.TA> and asked that the company keeps layoffs in Israel to a minimum.

Israel-based Teva <TEVA.N>, the world's largest generic drugmaker, is due to unveil a major restructuring on Thursday to help pay off its debt.

Netanyahu in a statement said he requested from CEO Kare Schultz to "maintain the identity of Teva as an Israeli company," and Schultz promised to do so.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch)

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