Obama Arrives In Berlin for Talks With German LeadersBy VOA News
24 July 2008

U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama is in Berlin, where he will meet with German leaders and deliver an open-air speech on trans-Atlantic relations later Thursday.

The Democratic senator arrived today after a visit to Israel as part of his closely-followed, election-year foreign tour.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, 24 Jul 2008Obama will meet in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders. He is expected to press Chancellor Merkel to increase Germany's troop numbers in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, Ms. Merkel said she would make it clear Germany is not shirking its responsibilities, but that the nation also has its limits.

Obama concluded his visit to the Middle East earlier today with a visit to Judaism's holiest site, Jerusalem's Western Wall.

During his visit, he pledged staunch support for Israel, saying he would not press its leaders to make concessions that would compromise the country's security.

Obama said he hopes he can serve as an effective partner - whether as U.S. president or as a senator - to bring about a more lasting peace in the region. Obama also reaffirmed his position that Jerusalem will be Israel's capital. But he said Israelis and Palestinians will determine Jerusalem's final status.

Obama told reporters that a nuclear Iran would be a "game-changing situation" for the Middle East and the world. And he refused to take any options off the table in dealing with the threat.

The Democratic candidate spent Wednesday meeting with Israeli leaders and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

His rival for the U.S. presidency, Republican Senator John McCain, did not meet with any Palestinian leaders when he visited Israel in March.

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