LONDON - US presidential candidate Mitt Romney, about to visit the London Olympics and Israel, said for the first time on Monday that he supports an official minute of silence at Friday's opening ceremony for the Games to honor Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Romney's move broke years of his own silence on the issue, including his time leading the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. During those Games, survivors of the slain Israelis called on the International Olympic Committee to observe a moment of silence to mark what was the 30th anniversary of the deaths in Munich. The IOC declined.

Now, with Romney in a heated campaign against Democratic President Barack Obama and heading to Europe and Israel for a week on an international stage, the Republican former Massachusetts governor is joining those calls.

"Governor Romney supports the moment of silence in remembrance of the Israeli athletes killed in the Munich Olympic Games," Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Romney, told Reuters in an email on Monday.

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