Merkel Addresses Congress, Wants Climate Pact

German chancellor speaks to joint session
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 3, 2009 2:39 PM CST
German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a joint session of Congress.   (J. David Ake)
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(Newser) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by exhorting the world in a speech to Congress to "tear down the walls of today" and reach a deal to combat global warming. Merkel, frequently interrupted by robust applause, also reiterated her country's commitment to fostering security in Afghanistan and said that a nuclear bomb in the hands of Iran "is not acceptable."

In the first address by a German chancellor to Congress since Konrad Adenauer in 1957, Merkel put special emphasis on the need for a global agreement on climate change—one she said she hoped could be forged at an international conference next month in Copenhagen. "We have no time to lose," she declared. "Today's generation needs to prove that it is able to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and that, in a sense, we are able to tear down walls of today," she said.