The "Victory Column" (Siegessaeule) is pictured in Berlin's central Tiergarten park July 22, 2008. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is keen to hear U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama's views on Iraq, Afghanistan and trans-Atlantic economic cooperation when they meet July 24, a German government spokesman said. Obama, who is highly popular in Germany but not well known by the political elite here, is due to meet with Merkel on Thursday before holding an evening speech on trans-Atlantic relations at the "Victory Column" monument in Berlin's central Tiergarten park. His campaign had considered staging the speech at the
Brandenburg Gate, but Merkel made clear she would frown on Obama speaking at the capital's most famous landmark, saying this was a privilege reserved for government leaders.
REUTERS/Johannes Eisele (GERMANY)