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Obama pledges new US relations with Europe

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Jul 13, 2005
STRASBOURG, France ? Welcomed with thunderous cheers, President Barack Obama pledged on Friday to repair damaged relations with Europe, saying the world came together following the 2001 terrorist attacks but then "we got sidetracked by Iraq."

"We must be honest with ourselves," Obama said. "In recent years, we've allowed our alliance to drift."

The new U.S. president said that despite the bitter feelings that were generated by Iraq, the United States and its allies must stand together because "al-Qaida is still a threat."

At a town-hall style gathering before a French and German audience, Obama also encouraged a skeptical Europe to support his revamped strategy for rooting out terrorism suspects in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and said Europe should not expect America to shoulder the burden of sending in combat troops by itself.

"This is a joint problem," Obama said on the cusp of the NATO summit. "And it requires a joint effort."

Later, in Baden-Baden, Germany, Obama said his Afghanistan war strategy does not envision NATO troops in Pakistan. He's previously ruled out deploying U.S. troops to that country.

Obama opened his Strasbourg appearance with a 25-minute prepared speech in which he set a dramatic, long-term goal of "a world without nuclear weapons." He said he would outline details of his nonproliferation proposal in a speech in Prague on Sunday, near the end of a European trip that is spanning five countries in eight days.

"Even with the Cold War now over, the spread of nuclear weapons or the theft of nuclear material could lead to the extermination of any city on the planet," Obama said.

He held the campaign-like event in the midst of his first European trip as president as he sought to strengthen the United States' standing in the world while working with foreign counterparts to right the troubled global economy.

Obama said the United States shares blame for the crisis, but that "every nation bears responsibility for what lies ahead ? especially now."


It is nice to have a president who cares......now granted those who would disagree at times have valid points!
But nobody said this would be easy and mistakes will be made that will need to be corrected and the old saying goes -- try again.....

Since we all have been given 2nd and 3rd chances......we need to also understand that at least we have a president who is honest and willing to listen ot other peoples and countries opinions...regardless of if we agree or not!!

another excerpt from the article --
In Germany, Obama called the new unemployment report a "stark reminder" of the nation's woes.

"None of us can isolate ourselves from a global market," and the world's economies are so intertwined that "if we do not have concerted action then we will have collective failure," Obama said, standing beside German Chancellor Angela Merkel after a private meeting. He added that world powers are "going to go back at it" if steps the G-20 took to fix the crisis are not successful.

He tried to counter a European perception of American arrogance on the world stage, saying: "I don't come here bearing grand designs. I'm here to listen, to share ideas."

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