WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (KUNA) -- With regard to security cooperation, President
Barack Obama and two top European Union (EU) officials on Monday agreed to
continue pressuring the Iranian regime over the issue of nuclear weapons
Appearing at the White House with European Council President Herman Van
Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Obama said the
three agreed to "continue to place pressure on the Iranian regime to stand
down when it comes to the development of nuclear weapons, emphasizing that we
continue to hope for a diplomatic resolution that allows them to use peaceful
nuclear energy in a way that is consistent with their international
Obama said the United States and Europe have a shared stake in continued
progress in Afghanistan, where the EU serves as a leading donor.
"The Bonn Conference (on Afghanistan) next week will be an opportunity to
make sure our security and development agenda is sustainable," the President
With respect to aviation security, the EU has been "extraordinarily
cooperative," Obama said. "And in particular, thanks to the leadership of
President Barroso and President Van Rompuy, we have been able to make progress
in exchanging intelligence information that can keep our passengers safe and
assure that we are preventing any kind of terrorist activity from taking place.
As global partners in support of universal values, the three "spent a lot
of time discussing how we can be supportive of the best elements of what is
taking place in North Africa and the Middle East, continuing to encourage
democracy, continuing to encourage transparency, continuing to encourage
economic development, because we both agree that the aspirations that were
expressed in Egypt and Tunisia and in Libya are not simply political issues,
but they are also economic issues, and that we have to do everything we can to
support increased opportunity for young people," Obama said.
These are very young populations, and if they see a future for themselves
where they can work hard and use their skills and talents, develop themselves
and support their families, "then the likelihood of a successful political
transition will exist as well," he said.
Van Rompuy said Europe works with the United States in supporting the
economic and political transition process in the Arab world in the wake of the
"In Libya, European action was given full support by NATO and by the United
States," he said. "We both welcomed the democratic elections in Tunisia and in
Morocco. In Egypt we call for a peaceful, democratic and successful transition
to civilian rule."
The "unacceptable situation" in Syria has prompted the EU to call on the
international community to join its efforts in imposing additional sanctions,
"On Iran, we need to step up pressure," Van Rompuy said."The union is
preparing new restrictive measures. And on Afghanistan, we reaffirmed that the
union is engaged in the long term even after 2014."
Barroso said that the sweeping transformations taking place in the Middle
East and North Africa confirm that the values shared by Europe and the United
States are "indeed universal."
"When given a choice, people everywhere choose freedom over oppression,
democracy over tyranny," he said. (end)
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