Obama jets into Berlin for key foreign policy speech
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama arrives in Berlin Thursday to make the key speech of a foreign tour aimed at enhancing his foreign policy credentials for the US electorate, dpa reported.
The Democratic Party senator is to hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel soon after flying in to Berlin's Tegel Airport before noon.
Talks with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier are scheduled for the early afternoon.
Obama is to make a 45-minute address on transatlantic relations at an open air venue in the heart of Berlin, speaking under the city's Victory Column to an expected crowd of tens of thousands in the early evening.
While Berlin was in Obama fever ahead of the visit, political commentators stressed that the main aim of the visit was to boost the senator's fortunes in the US presidential race.
In his speech, Obama was expected to seek to revive transatlantic relations that suffered considerable damage under President George W Bush.
Commentators were watching closely to discern calls for greater European contributions in Afghanistan and to hear the senator's views on pressing Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment programme.
Obama is overwhelmingly more popular in Europe than his Republican adversary, John McCain. A recent poll put his German support at 76 per cent.