News / Europe

Obama in London: 'The Time for Our Leadership Is Now'

U.S. President, Barack Obama addresses the members of both houses of the the British Parliament in Westminster Hall in London, May 25, 2011
U.S. President, Barack Obama addresses the members of both houses of the the British Parliament in Westminster Hall in London, May 25, 2011

Multimedia

Kent Klein

Addressing Britain's Parliament on Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama sent a message that the United States and Great Britain will continue to lead efforts toward world peace and democracy. The president also visited British Prime Minister David Cameron.

President Obama had the honor of speaking before the British Parliament at 900-year-old Westminster Hall. He used the opportunity to emphasize the strength of the “special relationship” between the U.S. and Britain.

"I have come here today to reaffirm one of the oldest, one of the strongest alliances the world has ever known," said the U.S. president.

Obama disputed the contention that the influence of America and Britain in the world is waning.

"That argument is wrong," he said. "The time for our leadership is now. It was the U.S. and the U.K. and our democratic allies which shaped a world in which new nations could emerge and individuals could thrive."

The president spent the earlier part of the day at 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister David Cameron.

Much of their talk concentrated on the upheaval in the Middle East, and specifically the NATO military mission to protect civilians in Libya.

Cameron agreed with the president that regime change is not part of the United Nations-authorized mission in Libya, but protecting civilians is impossible as long as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi remains in power.

"It is impossible to imagine a future with Gadhafi still in power.  He must go,'' said Cameron.

Obama said NATO-led forces in Libya are making progress, and Gadhafi is under more pressure to leave.

"Given the progress that has been made over the last several weeks, Gadhafi and his regime need to understand that there will not be a letup in the pressure that we are applying," said Obama.

Cameron also expressed support for the president's controversial stand on the Middle East peace process, agreeing that borders for Israel and a Palestinian state should be based on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War, with mutually agreed land swaps.

He and the president disagreed over the Palestinians' expected appeal to the United Nations for statehood. Obama called it a mistake, saying Palestinian sovereignty can only be gained by negotiating with Israel. Cameron said he would prefer to discuss the issue with the European Union before making a decision.

After spending the morning discussing difficult global issues, the two leaders held an American-style barbecue at 10 Downing Street. The prime minister served hamburgers to U.S. and British service members and veterans.

Both leaders will return to tackling serious global issues Thursday when they go to the two-day Group of Eight summit in France.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid