U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have agreed on the need to push for a two-state solution for peace in the Middle East and to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The two leaders were meeting in Normandy ahead of the commemorations Saturday of the 65th anniversary of the allied invasion of France during World War II.

Mr. Sarkozy denounced what he called "insane" statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has suggested that Israel be wiped off the map.  The French leader also supported Mr. Obama's call for Israel to halt settlement construction in the West Bank.

Mr. Obama said the parties must move beyond the current stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians. He also reiterated a call for Palestinians to renounce violence and demonstrate they will be able to follow through on promises made in negotiations.

The U.S. and French leaders agreed to work together on a range of issues, including the economy.