Obama urges action on Mideast peace (Lead)

June 5th, 2009 - 5:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Dresden (Germany), June 5 (DPA) US President Barack Obama Friday said the time was ripe to take action to push forward the Middle East peace process.
“The moment to act is now,” the president told a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after talks in the East German city of Dresden.

“We want to try to clear some of the misunderstandings so that we can have frank dialogue,” Obama said referring to talks between Israelis and Palestinians. “To do this we need strong partners.”

Merkel said Germany was interested in having a secure state of Israel as well as a viable Palestinian state.

The two leaders met for an hour at the start of Obama’s day-long visit to Germany, which will later see him visit the former Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald.

The talks also covered climate change issues, the situation on international financial markets and efforts to resolve the issue of Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.

Obama said the discussions on Iran were held “in a broader context of avoiding an arms race in the Middle East”.

Bringing Iran to negotiating table “can’t be done in isolation”, but needed the help of America’s partners, such as Germany, he said.

Obama arrived in Germany from Cairo where the addressed the world’s Muslims and pledged to pursue a two-state solution for Mideast peace.

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