Obama Visiting Israelis, Palestinians

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama toured Israel's Holocaust memorial, and also met with Palestinian and Israeli leadership Wednesday.

Obama laid a wreath in memory of the six million Jews who died at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem.

He said: "Ultimately, this is a place of hope."

Many people in Israel are concerned that if elected, Obama might push Israel too hard in negotiations with the Palestinians. But opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu says Obama told him that "he would never seek in any way to compromise Israel's security."

Netanyahu says they also discussed Israel's determination that Iran never be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

Later Wednesday, Barack Obama met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. An aide to Abbas says Obama promised to be a constructive partner in the Mideast peace process should he become president.

Saeb Erekat added that Obama told Abbas in their hour-long meeting in the West Bank that he "would not waste a minute" if elected president in November.

Obama left the meeting without talking to reporters. He returned to Jerusalem for more talks with Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

He also had talks with Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The opposition leader says Obama assured him he'd never seek in any way to compromise Israel's security.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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