News / USA

Obama: Euro Crisis Solution of 'Huge Importance' for US

President Barack Obama, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, left, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Washington, Monday, Nov. 28, 2011.
President Barack Obama, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, left, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Washington, Monday, Nov. 28, 2011.

At the White House on Monday, President Barack Obama met with European Union leaders, focusing on the European debt crisis and efforts by governments to preserve the eurozone amid recession worries.  Mr. Obama called a solution to European fiscal problems "of huge importance" to the United States.

President Obama's message for a troubled Europe has been consistent, voicing confidence that leaders on the continent have the capacity to resolve their debt crisis, but urging them to find the political will for an effective solution.

He repeated those themes in his two hours of talks and a working lunch with three officials - European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton.

In his statement to reporters, Mr. Obama again emphasized the connection between European problems and the United States.

"This is of huge importance to our own economy. If Europe is contracting or Europe is having difficulties then it is much more difficult for us to create good jobs here at home because we send so many of our products and services to Europe, it is such an important trading partner for us.   So we have got an important stake in their success and we will continue to work in a constructive way to try to resolve this issue in the near future," he said.

The annual summit came amid new worries about Europe falling into recession, as governments implement an agreement reached in October, and members such as Italy, Greece, and Spain work to solve their fiscal crises.

It also came amid ongoing concerns about problems in Europe, a major U.S trading partner, potentially kicking the U.S. economy back into a full recession.

In his remarks, Van Rompuy said European governments have taken decisions that he called "unthinkable" a year ago, but know they must do more and pointed to a plan he will present next month. "We are aiming for binding rules to ensure strong fiscal and economic discipline in our countries to go hand in hand with fiscal and economic integration, not only discipline but also integration in the Euro area as whole," he said.

Barroso said European leaders are determined to deal effectively with the crisis, but added that "some decisions take time." "I want to reassure President Obama and also I want to reassure the Americans.  Europe is going through rough times, yes, but we are determined to overcome the current difficulties," he said.

In an interview with VOA, Jonathan Story, a professor of International Political Economy at France's INSEAD business school, said the U.S. is limited in what it can do to move Europe forward. "The U.S. has an interest in its resolution that is for sure because Europe is a very big market for U.S. businesses who are the main investor in Europe and European investors are the main investors in the United States, so the two economies are very intertwined but there is actually very little the U.S. can do because the resolution of the problem is in European hands," he said.

Also attended by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. - EU talks also covered the Arab Spring, the situation in Syria, Iran's nuclear program, and political and human rights issues in Ukraine and Belarus.

Noting the first post-Mubarak election in Egypt, and events in Tunisia and Libya, a joint statement said considerable challenges lie ahead but the U.S. and EU are committed to supporting democratic transitions and economic growth in the region.

It called on the Assad government in Syria to end violence immediately, permit the immediate entry of human rights observers and international journalists, and allow for a peaceful and democratic transition.

The U.S. and EU shared "deep concern" about "possible military dimensions" of Iran's nuclear program, saying they are committed to working toward a diplomatic solution but will consider additional measures given Iran's continued failure to abide by its international obligations.

President Obama and EU officials also looked ahead to next week's conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany, with Mr. Obama saying both sides have a "shared stake" in continued progress in Afghanistan.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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