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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora