News / USA

Obama, Merkel Discuss Libya, Economy, Mideast Peace

President Barack Obama shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, June 7, 2011.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, June 7, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio

Welcoming German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House, President Barack Obama has hailed the strength of the U.S.-German partnership.

On a sunny, hot morning the South Lawn was filled with military honor guards and a fife and drum corps, as the two leaders stood during a 19-gun salute for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

President Barack Obama called Germany one of America's strongest allies, and Ms. Merkel - who grew up in what was communist East Germany - one of his closest global partners.

"At a time when some have asked whether the rise of new global powers means the decline of others, this visit reaffirms an enduring truth," said Obama.  "Our alliances with nations like Germany are more important than ever.  Indeed, they are indispensable to global security and prosperity."

Obama, the first African-American U.S. president, said he and Merkel, the first woman to be chancellor of Germany, are also symbols of change.

"Madame Chancellor, the arc of our lives speaks to this spirit," added Obama.  "It is obvious that neither of us looks exactly like the leaders who preceded us.  But the fact that we can stand here today as President of the United States and as Chancellor of a united Germany is a testament to the progress, the freedom, that is possible in our world."

Obama said that as two of the largest and most dynamic economies, Germany and the United States can show that prosperity is "best achieved by investing in their greatest resource, their people, and ability to compete and innovate in the 21st century."

Both leaders pointed to cooperation in Afghanistan, where Germany has about 7,000 troops, the third-largest contingent after the U.S. and Britain.

Chancellor Merkel, in translated remarks, reiterated determination to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and spoke about popular uprisings in North Africa.

"Germany and the United States are partners, sharing responsibility for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan," said Merkel.  "We are pulling in the same direction, trying to keep Iran from following its course of developing a nuclear forces capability.  In North Africa, we support the struggle for freedom.  And in the Middle East, we support efforts to fill the peace process with new life."

In a joint news conference, both leaders were asked about bilateral differences on the NATO-led military operation in Libya.

Each predicted that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi must and will step down.  Obama discussed the role he expects Germany to play as events move forward.

"There is going to be a lot of work to do when Gadhafi does step down, in terms of getting the Libyan people back on their feet, economic, political work that is going to have to be done, and my expectation is going to be that there will be full and robust German support, as there has been in the past, on a wide range of issues," said Obama.

Asked whether Germany felt NATO was mistaken in becoming militarily involved in Libya, Chancellor Merkel said Germany's position should be seen in its support for the international "stance" there, and remains committed to the objectives of the mission.

"It is our joint will that this NATO mission is successful," added Merkel.  "This is important for the people in Libya, but it is also important for NATO for the alliance at large and here we have one heart of an ally that beats with the heart of the other allies."

President Obama said U.S. economic growth depends on a "sensible" solution to Europe's financial problems.  He said Greece will require a combination of private investment, structural reforms and greater transparency, with help from Eurozone countries.

"We think it would be disastrous for us to see an uncontrolled spiral and default in Europe because that could trigger a whole range of other events, and I think Angela shares that view," said Obama.

Whether the warm reception for Chancellor Merkel, including the presentation of the Medal of Freedom to her by President Obama, helps smooth some of the tensions in the U.S-German relationship, over global economic and other issues, remains to be seen.

Chancellor Merkel said that despite what she called some differences of opinion, the partnership rests on "a very broad basis."  She invited President Obama to visit Berlin and the president said he looks forward to that, provided he wins another term as president.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
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 Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

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.

VOA Blogs