News / USA

Obama, Canadian and Mexican Leaders Wrap Up One Day Summit, Discuss Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (R) as Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto looks on after attending a news conference, at the North American Leaders' Summit in Toluca near Mexico City, Feb. 19, 20
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (R) as Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto looks on after attending a news conference, at the North American Leaders' Summit in Toluca near Mexico City, Feb. 19, 20
— President Barack Obama and the leaders of Mexico and Canada wrapped up a one day North American summit Wednesday on a range of issues, including economic competitiveness, border security and climate change. They also discussed global hotspots, including Ukraine and Venezuela.
 
A joint statement outlined agreements on steps to enhance investment and tourism, reduce regulations, and strengthen bilateral border initiatives.
 
The leaders agreed to expand cooperation on limiting greenhouse gas emissions, and step up efforts against human trafficking and regional crime.
 
President Obama spoke of the competitive advantages that the U.S., Canada and Mexico have, with skilled workers, manufacturing and new energy sources.
 
"All of this positions us to be a power house in the global economy and that is why we are here, to make sure that we are doing everything we can to be more competitive and create more jobs, in Canada, in Mexico and the United States," said Obama.
 
Border security was a key issue in bilateral U.S - Mexico discussions. The leaders said they stand united against criminal gangs and narco-traffickers.
 
President Obama praised efforts by Mexican security forces, and said the U.S. will continue efforts to reduce demand for illegal drugs and combat the southbound flow of illegal guns and cash.
 
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto spoke through an interpreter and mentioned his country’s efforts to improve security.
 
"We have revised our security agenda and we have agreed to maintain a strategic dialogue to coordinate efforts so we can face a common issue, security in both of our countries and specifically security at the border," said Pena.
 
The leaders also discussed and answered questions about Ukraine, Venezuela, and Syria.
 
Obama referenced the truce between the Ukrainian government and opposition protesters and pledged to support a peaceful solution and the Ukrainian people.
 
"If the truce is implemented it could provide space for the sides to resolve their disagreements peacefully. And going forward we will continue to do whatever we can to support Ukrainians as they seek a peaceful solution and respond to the aspirations of the Ukrainian people for a strong unified democracy that is fully integrated into the international community," said Obama.
 
Ukraine as well as Syria, Obama said, are not a "competition" between the U.S. and Russia but an expression of the hopes and aspirations of people for basic freedoms.
 
He said President Vladimir Putin "has a different view" on many of these issues, but he expressed hope Russia will change its positions.
 
"There are times I hope where Russia will recognize that over the long term they should be on board with those values and interests as well.  Right now there are times when we have strong disagreements, and when I speak to Mr. Putin I am very candid about those disagreements, even as we will continue to pursue cooperation with Russia on areas where we have shared concerns," said Obama.
 
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper echoed Obama’s thoughts on Ukraine.
 
"It is the regime that created this situation, not by taking decisions that were merely unpopular but by undertaking decisions that went against the very nature and aspirations of Ukraine as an independent state," said Harper.
 
Obama criticized the government of Venezuela, where unrest has flared, and its expulsion of three U.S. diplomats.
 
"Rather than trying to distract from its own failings by making up false accusations against diplomats from the United States, the government ought to focus on addressing the legitimate grievances of the Venezuelan people,” said Obama.
 
He said the U.S. and the Organization of American States call on the Venezuelan government to release protesters and engage in real dialogue. He also said that all parties should restrain violence and restore calm.
 
The leaders pledged continuing support for negotiations for a new Asia-Pacific free trade group called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Obama downplayed opposition from what he called "elements" within his own Democratic party.
 
Harper and Obama were also asked about the Keystone XL pipeline between Canadian shale oil fields and U.S. gulf ports, still opposed by environmental groups.
 
Obama said a decision will be made after a comment period for U.S. government agencies following a recent State Department report that found the project would not significantly increase carbon emissions
 
He said he and Harper discussed a shared interest in dealing with greenhouse gas.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid