U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Friday at the White House to discuss issues including Iran, climate change and the global economic crisis.
Mr. Obama told reporters the United States is not where it needs to be on climate change, and he commended Europe for moving rapidly on the issue. He said the U.S. hopes to lead the international effort against climate change and must work with both advanced and emerging economies.
He said discussions with Ms. Merkel also included efforts for peace in the Middle East, and the disruption and dismantling al-Qaida and its allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
On Guantanamo, Mr. Obama said he has spoken with Ms. Merkel about his desire to close the military prison. He said he understands that Ms. Merkel has an obligation to make sure Germany's national security interests come first.
He said he has seen a positive response from European countries in the "general" sense of wanting to help close the prison, which Mr. Obama said has become a symbol of the U.S. straying from some of its core ideals.
There have been differences between the two leaders on some issues. Ms. Merkel is opposed to economic stimulus measures like the $787 billion package Mr. Obama pushed through Congress earlier this year. The German chancellor is calling for an "exit strategy" from such economic actions.
Germany has declined the U.S. president's request to accept detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and to send more German troops to Afghanistan.