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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid