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Obama, Merkel praise U.S.-German ties

  |   Nov. 3, 2009 at 11:56 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Germany has been a strong U.S. ally on many international issues, including being a leading voice on climate change, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

"We appreciate the sacrifices of German soldiers in Afghanistan, and our common work there to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan ...," Obama said during a joint White House media availability with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"I should just note that Germany has been an extraordinarily strong ally on a whole host of international issues," Obama said. "Chancellor Merkel has been an extraordinary leader on the issue of climate change. And the United States, Germany, and countries around the world I think are all beginning to recognize why it is so important that we work in common in order to stem the potential catastrophe that could result if we continue to see global warming continuing unabated."

Obama and Merkel met before she addressed Congress -- the first German chancellor to do so in 50 years.

"And it is, I think, a very appropriate honor that's been bestowed on Chancellor Merkel," he said.

Merkel said she and Obama are "working and discussing issues ... related to climate change, Afghanistan, Iran, and obviously also the world economic situation."

She said she also wanted to thank the U.S. people for their support "given us throughout the process leading up to German reunification."

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