News / Europe

    Obama, Baltic Presidents Discuss Strategic, Defense Cooperation, Trade

    President Barack Obama speaks to members of the media during his meeting with Baltic leaders, from left, Latvian President Andris Berzins, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, and Vice President Joe Biden in th
    President Barack Obama speaks to members of the media during his meeting with Baltic leaders, from left, Latvian President Andris Berzins, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, and Vice President Joe Biden in th
    The United States and the three Baltic states - Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania - say they are determined to enhance strategic cooperation and work together on trade and other issues. President Barack Obama and the three Baltic presidents met Friday at the White House.

    In remarks before their meeting in the White House Cabinet Room, Obama referred to the deep ties between the United States and the Baltic republics. He noted in particular contributions by each to NATO and the international mission in Afghanistan.

    "I want to thank all the presidents who are here and their nations for all that they do to promote democracy, not only in their own countries but around the world. The Baltics are among our most reliable allies in NATO and our commitment to their security is rock solid. Our soldiers sacrificed together in Afghanistan and the Baltic ports continue to help support our troops as we transition the NATO mission," said Obama.

    Talks also focused on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations, energy security, defense and cyber cooperation.

    Obama and the three presidents also discussed development assistance projects focused on institution-building and strengthening democracies around the world.

    "We know how far Estonia and Latvia and Lithuania have come in just the past two decades, and I know we will accomplish even more in the decades to come," he said.

    The White House talks were overshadowed to some degree by Syria, as Obama considered a decision on military action to respond to the chemical weapons attack in Damascus more than a week before.

    President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia said his country agrees on the need for a response. "The main issue on our agenda is global and regional security, and the question of course on everyone's mind is the situation in Syria. For Estonia, the use of chemical weapons is deplorable. The attack demands a response. Those responsible must be held accountable. Violations cannot be overlooked."

    Ilves said he looked forward to discussing expanding joint efforts to promote common values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law and helping countries transition from authoritarian to democratic rule.

    Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite focused on energy security and the free trade agreement between the United States and European Union, along with cyber defense.

    Latvian President Andris Berzins praised support from the United States and NATO, saying the White House meeting with Obama demonstrated the long-term interest of the United States in the Baltics.

    A joint statement issued by the White House said the Baltic republics have become "valued members of NATO and the European Union."

    It said the United States has a profound and enduring interest in the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

    And it referred to the need to sustain adequate levels of investment in NATO in "challenging" economic times, reaffirming the commitment to achieve or maintain defense spending at 2 percent of GDP.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.