U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama made a surprise pre-dawn visit to Jerusalem's Western Wall on Thursday, at the end of a trip aimed at showing his controversial strong support for Israel.
Obama, wearing a Jewish skullcap, placed a prayer he had written in the wall and bowed his head while a rabbi read a psalm calling for peace in the holy city.
U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama repeated his controversial support to Israel, saying Wednesday Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel.
"I continue to say that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel. I have said it before and will say it again...but I've also said that it is a final status issue" that must be decided by negotiation, he said in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.
The international community, including the U.S., doesn't recognize Israel's claim that Jerusalem is its capital."
Hailing Israel as a "miracle," he vowed staunch support and held only a low-profile meeting with Palestinian leaders in the occupied West Bank.
Last month Obama dismayed Palestinians when he said Jerusalem must be Israel's "undivided" capital.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, including the Old City, but Palestinians want it to be the capital of a future state.
Obama later said he had used "poor phrasing."
He is due to fly on Thursday to Germany, where he will give the only public speech of his week-long foreign tour, an outdoor address on transatlantic ties that is likely to draw tens of thousands.
Highly popular in Germany, where he is often likened to former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Obama will also meet for the first time Chancellor Angela Merkel, who opposed his initial plan to speak at the Brandenburg Gate.
Instead, Obama will give his evening address at the "Victory Column" in Berlin's central Tiergarten park, down the road but still within sight of the Gate, a landmark that stood behind the Berlin Wall for decades as a potent symbol of the Cold War.
Last Mod: 24 Temmuz 2008, 14:48