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

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs