Merkel backs Obama on Middle East.6/5/2009 9:17:29 AM
Barack Obama, the US president, has called for a redoubling of efforts towards a two-state solution The two-state solution envisions two separate states in the Western portion of the historic region of Palestine, one Jewish and another Arab to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict. to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, saying he is confident progress can be made this year.
Speaking alongside Obama, during a visit to Dresden, Angela Merkel [ˈaŋɡela doʁoˈteːa ˈmɛɐ̯kəl]) (b. , the German chancellor, praised the president's Cairo speech, saying it could be a point of departure for Middle East peace efforts. (IPA:
Addressing reporters in the German city, Obama said: "The United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. can't force peace upon the parties. But what we've tried to do is clear away some of the misunderstandings.
"I am confident that if we stick to it, having started early, we can make some serious progress this year."
On Thursday, the US leader had delivered a much-anticipated speech in Egypt in which he vowed to forge a "new beginning" for Islam and America.
Merkel said: "With the new US administration and Obama, we have a unique opportunity to revive this ... [Middle East] peace process.
"Yesterday's speech in a way opened doors toward the Arab world “Arab States” redirects here. For the political alliance, see Arab League.
The Arab World (Arabic: العالم العربي; Transliteration: al-`alam al-`arabi) stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the ."
Later, Obama and Merkel visited the former Buchenwald concentration camp Buchenwald concentration camp was a Nazi concentration camp established on the Ettersberg (Etter Mountain) near Weimar, Thuringia, Germany, in July 1937, and one of the largest such camps on German soil. Camp prisoners worked primarily as slave labour in local armament factories. , where an estimated 56,000 people were killed, to commemorate victims of the Holocaust.
The visit to Buchenwald holds personal significance for Obama as his great uncle helped liberate (Liberate Technologies, San Mateo, CA) A software company that specialized in the information appliance field. Formerly Network Computer, Inc. (NCI), a spin-off from Oracle in 1996, it changed its name in 1999. a satellite camp of Buchenwald created by the Nazis near Weimar.
The two leaders, along with Elie Wiesel, the Nobel laureate Noun 1. Nobel Laureate - winner of a Nobel prize
laureate - someone honored for great achievements; figuratively someone crowned with a laurel wreath and Holocaust survivor, each laid a long-stemmed white rose on the ground at the camp.
Obama and Merkel are expected to discuss thorny thorn·y
adj. thorn·i·er, thorn·i·est
1. Full of or covered with thorns.
3. Painfully controversial; vexatious: a thorny situation; thorny issues. issues such as Germany's commitment to the war in Afghanistan and possibly Berlin's reluctance to take inmates from the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay Noun 1. Guantanamo Bay - an inlet of the Caribbean Sea; a United States naval station was established on the bay in 1903
bay, embayment - an indentation of a shoreline larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf .
The president is also thought to be keen on hearing Merkel's views on Moscow, as Russia supplys much of Germany's energy.
But analysts warned against expecting too much in the way of political decisions from the talks.
After putting pressure over Israel on settlements in recent days, Obama also turned up the heat on Arab states in his Dresden comments.
He said: "What I'd like to see is indicators that they are willing, if Israel makes tough commitments, to also make some hard choices that will allow for an opening of commerce, diplomatic exchanges between Israel and its neighbours."
The president called on Palestinian leaders to do more to secure Israeli borders and to cut down on incitement in·cite
tr.v. in·cit·ed, in·cit·ing, in·cites
To provoke and urge on: troublemakers who incite riots; inciting workers to strike. See Synonyms at provoke. of hatred against Israel.
"I think, to his credit, president Abbas has made progress on this issue, but not enough," Obama said.
'Holocaust and horror'
Later in the day, Obama will visit wounded US soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan at the Landstuhl military hospital.
Following his visit to Germany, Obama will travel to France for talks with Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president.
On Saturday, he will join Sarkozy on the Normandy beaches to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings - a reminder to European states of the debt they owe the US.
In an interview in Germany's Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper, Merkel said: "Buchenwald concentration camp, the battle fields of northern France and the destruction of Dresden stand for the terrible suffering which Germany wreaked on Europe through the Holocaust and horror of World War Two."
Locals in Dresden celebrated Obama's visit with an outdoor beer festival with balloons, US flags and a jazz band playing in front of a banner that read: "Welcome Mr President".
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