Merkel, Mubarak talk on stabilizing Lebanon, Iraq

The leaders of Germany and Egypt on Sunday underlined their commitment to helping secure stability in Iraq and Lebanon, and Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested that Berlin might step up efforts to train Iraqi soldiers. Merkel met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as Germany prepares to take over the presidency of the European Union and Group of Eight on Jan. 1. Berlin hopes to contribute to nudging regional peace efforts forward. Merkel said Germany also has "an interest in the rebuilding of Iraq moving forward and in violence diminishing." Germany might consider whether "more can be done" to train the Iraqi army outside the country, she added, although she stressed that "there are no concrete proposals."