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Guardian UK: Obama speech expected to draw at least 100,000 after meeting w/ Merkel [View All]

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 09:43 AM
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Guardian UK: Obama speech expected to draw at least 100,000 after meeting w/ Merkel
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Obama speech expected to draw at least 100,000 after meeting with Merkel
Elana Schor and agencies
guardian.co.uk, Thursday July 24, 2008



More than 100,000 people are expected to attend a speech by Barack Obama in Berlin today as he starts the European leg of his foreign tour.

The rally will follow talks on Afghanistan with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

He arrived in Berlin after two days in the Middle East where he outlined a newly hawkish line on Iran's nuclear programme and appealed to US Jewish voters by pledging "unshakeable commitment to Israel's security".

Obama's campaign organisers originally hoped the US presidential candidate would speak at the Brandenburg Gate the site of visits by John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan but settled for the Victory Column war monument after Merkel objected to the famous landmark.

The chancellor and Obama are scheduled to hold talks before his speech, with Nato's role in Afghanistan high on the agenda. Merkel has forged a bond with fellow conservative George Bush since her election, reversing the slide in US-German relations brought on by Berlin's refusal to endorse the Iraq war.

Merkel appeared to warm to Obama yesterday, when she told a news conference that the young American candidate "is well-equipped physically, mentally and politically".

Reporters followed up by pressing the chancellor on the now-famous shoulder rub Bush gave her during the 2006 G8 summit in Russia. Asked whether she anticipated getting another massage from Obama or McCain, Merkel quipped: "That's not really up to me. But I wouldn't resist." ......(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/24/uselections...




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