Merkel visits Israel Holocaust memorial
(dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial site Monday morning, on the second day of a three-day visit to Israel marking the country's 60th anniversary.
Merkel, accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and seven ministers from each government, were to attend a memorial service for the six million Jews killed during World War II.
Merkel, on arriving in Tel Aviv Monday and referring to Germany's past, said Berlin had a "special responsibility" for Israel's right to exist.
Olmert, for his part, described Germany, 63 years after the Holocaust, as one of Israel's "strongest allies."
The ministers from each side were to hold a historic joint cabinet session later Monday morning. It will be the first time cabinets from both countries meet for joint consultations and the first of the German government to hold a joint cabinet session with a country outside Europe.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was also due to hold a separate meeting with her German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier mainly on the Iranian nuclear threat, as was Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak with his counterpart, Franz Josef Jung.