Washington DC. Feb. 9: US President Barack Obama has reiterated that Germany and the United States remain united in their determination to destroy the barbaric organization ISIL.
Obama, who was earlier engaged in a bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in the White House was participating in a joint press conference. He thanked her for her strong support as a member of the international coalition that is working in Iraq. In a significant milestone in its foreign policy, Germany has taken the important step of equipping Kurdish forces in Iraq, and Germany is preparing to lead the training mission of local forces in Erbil, Obama said adding Germany is a close partner in combating the threat of foreign terrorist fighters, which was the focus of a special session of the U.N. Security Council that he chaired last fall. Under Angela’s leadership, Germany is moving ahead with new legislation to prevent fighters from traveling to and from Syria and Iraq, he pointed out.
Obama told journalists that both Angela and he recognize that young people in Germany and the US, especially in Muslim communities, are being threatened and targeted for recruitment by terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL. “Protecting our young people from this hateful ideology, so that they’re not vulnerable to such recruitment, is, first and foremost, a task for local communities”, he emphasised.
“Germany is one of our strongest allies, so whenever we meet, it’s an opportunity to coordinate closely on a whole range of issues critical to our shared security and prosperity,” President Obama said adding “as Angela and our German friends prepare to host the G7 this spring, it’s also important for us to be able to coordinate on a set of shared goals.”
During their joint press conference, both leaders went into more detail about what they discussed on Russia and Ukraine.
Chancellor Merkel said “We stand up for the same principles of inviolability of territorial integrity. For somebody who comes from Europe, I can only say if we give up this principle of territorial integrity of countries, then we will not be able to maintain the peaceful order of Europe that we’ve been able to achieve. This is not just any old point, it’s an essential, a crucial point, and we have to stand by it. And Russia has violated the territorial integrity of Ukraine in two respects: in Crimea, and also in Donetsk and Luhansk.
“So we are called upon now to come up with solutions, but not in the sense of a mediator, but we also stand up for the interests of the European peaceful order. … And I’m very grateful that throughout the Ukraine crisis, we have been in very, very close contact with the United States of America and Europe on sanctions, on diplomatic initiatives. And this is going to be continued. And I think that’s, indeed, one of the most important messages we can send to Russia, and need to send to Russia.”