News / Europe

Hollande Meets Obama, Reaffirms Early Afghanistan Withdrawal

French President Francois Hollande (left( and President Barack Obama hold discussions at the White House, May 18, 2012French President Francois Hollande (left( and President Barack Obama hold discussions at the White House, May 18, 2012
x
French President Francois Hollande (left( and President Barack Obama hold discussions at the White House, May 18, 2012
French President Francois Hollande (left( and President Barack Obama hold discussions at the White House, May 18, 2012
French President Francois Hollande and President Barack Obama have discussed Afghanistan, the eurozone crisis, Syria and other international issues in a meeting at the White House.

President Hollande's White House talks, his attendance at the G8 summit in Camp David, Maryland, and the NATO summit in Chicago, are part of his international debut after his election victory.

As a candidate he pledged to withdraw France's 3,400 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year.  

That is far ahead of NATO's plan to pull all troops out of Afghanistan in 2014 as Afghan government forces assume full responsibility for security.

In translated remarks, President Hollande said he reminded Obama of that pledge to the French people, and said France's support for Afghanistan going forward will take a different form.

"We will continue to support Afghanistan in a different way, our support will take a different form and all of that will be done in a good understanding with our allies within ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] and so we will continue and comply with our commitment to that country, and [provide] supplies and support as I said in a different way," Hollande said.

In his remarks, President Obama said he and Mr. Hollande agreed that as NATO transitions out of a combat phrase, it is important to sustain the commitment to Afghanistan's security and development.

Obama said much of their discussion focused on the situation in eurozone saying it is of extraordinary importance to the people of Europe and to the world economy.

"We are looking forward to a fruitful discussion later this evening and tomorrow with the other G8 leaders about how we can manage a responsible approach to fiscal consolidation that is coupled with a strong growth agenda," Obama said.

President Hollande, who is a Socialist, campaigned on a pro-growth position and called for reconsideration of austerity measures European countries have taken, including a controversial European Union treaty strongly supported by Germany.
  • Security personnel watch as the airplane carrying French President Francois Hollande and his companion Valerie Trierweiler arrives for the G-8 Summit at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly May 18, 2012.
  • An American Honor Guard greets the French Delegation as their plane arrives at Dulles International Airport.
  • French President Francois Hollande and his companion Valerie Trierweiler arrive for the G-8 Summit at Dulles International Airport.
  • Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, left, walks to a motorcade upon his arrival at Dulles International Airport.
  • Oxfam activist wearing masks depicting G-8 world leaders participate in a demonstration outside the White House in Washington, May 17, 2012.
  • Jim Stull, 78, a life long resident of Thurmont, Maryland, places American flags along an exit ramp that will be traveled by dignitaries motorcading to Camp David for the G-8 Summit.
Hollande sidestepped the controversy about his anti-austerity views.

"I discussed the main topics with President Obama including the economy and the fact that growth must be a priority at the same time as we put in place some fiscal compacts to improve our finances.  And, on growth President Obama was able to acknowledge shared views so that we can progress," Hollande said.

Hollande said he and President Obama shared the view that Greece should remain in the eurozone.

On Iran, Hollande saying the U.S. and France agree on the importance of negotiations underway with Tehran, and the need to be firm on preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

On the Iran issue, as well as Afghanistan, and the Arab Spring, Obama said France has shown "great leadership"

"As I indicated to President Hollande, when the United States and France along with our other key allies make up our minds to stand firm on the side of democracy and freedom and development that enormous progress can be made," Obama said.

President Obama said he assured Mr. Hollande that the friendship and alliance with France is of extraordinary importance to him and greatly valued by the American people.

Hollande said France and the U.S. have always managed to overcome differences and said it was important for him to take the opportunity of the G8 and NATO summits to reaffirm the importance of the relationship.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More