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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
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 were 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 from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid