Thu, April 09, 2009
World > Europe > Obama's travel to Europe

Obama favors stronger EU defense capacity

2009-04-03 12:55:30 GMT2009-04-03 20:55:30 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

STRASBOURG, France, April 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday that his country is in favor of stronger defense capabilities of the European Union (EU).

"We want strong allies. We would like to see Europe have much more robust defense capacities," Obama told reporters after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"The more capability we see here in Europe, the happier the United States will be, the more effective we will be in coordinating our activities."

Obama was responding to a question whether France's return to NATO's military structures will be reciprocated with promises for stronger EU defense.

"The basic promise of NATO was that European security was the United States security and vice versa," he said.

"That is a central tenant, that is a pillar of American foreign policy. That has been unchanging over the last 60 years."

Obama said he was in Europe to affirm this U.S. policy.

Sarkozy said he did not need guarantees from Obama for a stronger EU defense capacity.

"A strong Europe of defense is the best guarantee for the USA," said Sarkozy.

STRASBOURG, France, April 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama arrived here on Friday for a two-day summit of NATO member states to mark the alliance's 60th anniversary.

Flying from London after attending the G20 summit on the economic crisis, Obama will meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy before the summit opens on Friday evening with a dinner in Germany's bordering city of Baden-Baden. Full story

STRASBOURG, France, April 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday met his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy here before a two-day NATO summit to mark the alliance's 60th anniversary.

This is the first official meeting between Obama, who flew here from London, and Sarkozy.

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