The US and German leaders have been trying to make progress on a range of difficult issues. President Barack Obama’s talks in Dresden with Chanceller Angela Merkel tackled differences over the world economy, Guantanamo inmates and, less divisively, Middle East peace.
Obama dismissed media claims that the brevity of his stopover showed new tensions between the two countries. Ahead of a visit to the Buchanwald concentration camp Obama said it would it be an occasion for reflection. “Not only (to) reflect on the dangers of when peoples are in conflict and not acknowledging a common humanity, but also to celebrate. Out of that tragedy you now have a unified Europe, a Germany that is a very close ally of Israel and the possibilities of reconciliation and forgiveness and hope.” The two leaders also discussed the nuclear stand-off with Iran and efforts to reach an international agreement on combating climate change. Obama arrived in Germany from talks in Cairo aimed at reviving Middle East peacemaking. His next stop will be France for ceremonies marking the 65th anniverary of the Normandy landings.