July 24, 2008

German Chancellor, US Senator Discuss Foreign Policy Issues

Text of report by independent German news agency ddp on 24 July

Berlin: On Thursday [24 July] morning, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU [Christian Democratic Union]) received US presidential candidate Barack Obama at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. At the first meeting of the two politicians, there was a "very open, in- depth conversation in a very good atmosphere", Government Spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said after the meeting which lasted about one hour. According to his statements, the talks centred on the intensive discussion of foreign policy issues, such as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East peace process and the 2009 NATO summit.

In addition, the continuation of the transatlantic economic partnership, climate and energy issues, world trade and cooperation at the international level for the solution of important global problems were discussed. Furthermore, according to Wilhelm, the chancellor and Obama stressed the great importance of close and friendly German-US relations.

In the afternoon, Obama will meet Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) [Social Democratic Party of Germany] and Berlin's Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit (SPD). In the evening, the US senator will deliver his only public speech during his European tour in front of Victory Column in Tiergarten District.

Originally published by ddp news agency, Berlin, in German 1120 24 Jul 08.

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