News / Europe

    Obama, Sarkozy Discuss Global Economy, World Hotspots

    President Barack Obama (r) meets with France's President Nicolas Sarkozy  at the White House, 10 Jan 2011
    President Barack Obama (r) meets with France's President Nicolas Sarkozy at the White House, 10 Jan 2011

    President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have held wide-ranging talks at the White House focusing on the world economy, terrorism, and global hot spots. Both leaders commented on the shootings in the U.S. state of Arizona which killed 6 people and left 14 others wounded, including a U.S. congresswoman.

    It was the second White House meeting for the two leaders in less than a year. The topics were familiar - global economic recovery, foreign policy issues such as Iran, Afghanistan, and Sunday's referendum in southern Sudan as well as the situation in Ivory Coast.

    But the shootings in Tucson, Arizona, which have shaken the nation and shocked the world, were in the spotlight, as was the revulsion of the French people over the killing of two French citizens in the African nation of Niger.

    Saying Americans are still grieving and in shock, President Obama cited what he called extraordinary courage of people who fought to subdue the suspected gunman.

    The president said he is in close consultation with families of those killed and wounded, and with Arizona's governor and congressional leaders, and said consideration is being given to some sort of memorial to those killed and wounded. "There is no doubt that we will establish some mechanism, memorial, during the course of the next several days and when we have that we will announced it.  But I think it is going to be important I think for the country as a whole as well as the people of Arizona to feel as if we are speaking directly to our sense of loss, but also speaking to our hopes for the future, and how out of this tragedy we can come together as a stronger nation," he said.

    President Sarkozy said the French people have been "deeply moved" by the tragedy in Arizona.   President Obama offered his condolences to the people of France over the killing of two French citizens who were kidnapped in Niger.

    France's prime minister said on Monday he was almost certain that al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was behind the abduction of the two Frenchmen.  President Sarkozy, speaking through an interpreter, said both nations are united on the need to combat terrorism. "The U.S. and France are determined to stand firm as allies on this issue of terrorism.  Both of us believe that any show of weakness would be culpable.  We have no choice but to go after these terrorists, wherever they may be," he said.

    The two presidents used a working lunch to discuss issues ranging from global economic recovery to the Middle East, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, as well as the referendum in southern Sudan and the situation in Ivory Coast.

    President Obama thanked France for the sacrifices of its forces in Afghanistan.  NATO countries have set a 2014 target for transitioning security responsibilities to Afghan government forces, with U.S. forces scheduled to begin a conditions-based drawdown in July of this year.

    On Iran, Mr. Obama said they would discuss the impact of sanctions and what he called the hope to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear program diplomatically.  The U.S. and France, he said, will be building on their shared resolve to assure that "we are not seeing nuclear weapons in Iran."

    President Obama said their talks would also cover the situation in Ivory Coast, where he said democracy is being threatened, and the referendum in southern Sudan and challenges there from recent violence. "So much is at stake in preventing outbreaks of violence that could end up devastating the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, but also where there is a prospect of a peaceful transition that could result in a better life for people in both the North and the South of Sudan," he said.

    France has taken over the presidency of the G-8 and G-20 group of industrialized and developing nations and President Sarkozy will host summits later this year.  

    President Sarkozy was expected to underscore his concerns about volatility in global food prices, and his view that revisions are needed in the global monetary system that could challenge the status of the dollar.

    Without mentioning that issue directly, Mr. Sarkozy said through an interpreter he appreciates the role that the U.S. economy and dollar play, adding that U.S. and French officials will work to develop common positions before the G-8 and G-20 summits later this year. "Our teams are going to be working very hard together to come up with common papers and common positions on the issues which are of interest and which are in the remit of the G-20, such as the matter of currencies, of commodity prices and all that needs to be done in order to reduce the current and present imbalances," he said.

    President Obama said while countries are in the process of recovering from recession, in his words, "we are not yet where we want to be."   

    Mr. Obama said imbalances continuing to inhibit prospects for global growth, adding that France and the U.S. are discussing how to coordinate the G-8/G-20 agenda to make it as productive as possible in delivering reforms that will result in more prosperity.

    There were further indications that the Obama-Sarkozy relationship is on solid ground.  President Sarkozy described President Obama as a leader with the ability to get to the fundamentals of issues.  Addressing Mr. Sarkozy by his first name, Mr. Obama said he had always found him to be an outstanding partner and friend to the American people, as well as a leader on the world stage.

    Separately, President Sarkozy's wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, dined with First Lady Michelle Obama.

    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.