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Obama in Germany: Honors War Dead, Speaks of Mideast Peace

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U.S. President Barack Obama is calling for a redoubling of efforts to get the Mideast peace process back on track. He spoke in Dresden, Germany after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

It was a day to honor the victims of World War II - and to push for peace in the Middle East.

At the remains of the Buchenwald concentration camp, President Obama paid homage to the victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

"It is up to us to bear witness, to ensure that the world continues to note what happened here," he said.

Earlier, in the courtyard of Dresden Castle - in the midst of a bombed out city, now reborn - he spoke of a modern day conflict and the prospects for peace in the Middle East.

"The moment is now for us to all act on what we know to be the truth, which is that each side is going to have to make some difficult compromises," said President Obama.

Speaking one day after delivering a speech to Muslims worldwide from Cairo, Mr. Obama said in Dresden that he is convinced the time is right for progress in the peace process.

He pointed to his recent talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. And he noted his special Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, will be returning to the region next week.

"I think given what we have done so far, we have at least created the space, the atmosphere in which talks can restart," said Mr. Obama.

The U.S. president said he discussed the situation in the Middle East with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He called their discussions productive, and said they also talked about Iran and the world economy.

Her decision to invite him to Dresden was personal - a chance to shine the spotlight on a city in the former East Germany, that she knows well.

"It is a city that was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, was then rebuilt after Germany unification. It has again turned out to be a jewel of German culture and civilization," she said.

President Obama's decision to go to Buchenwald was personal as well. His great uncle served in one of the American military units that liberated the camp. Mr. Obama said it was a memory that burned in him for years.

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