EU calls for stronger transatlantic ties under Obama

January 21st, 2009 - 3:09 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaBrussels, Jan 21 (DPA) The European Commission, executive body of the European Union (EU), President Jose Manuel Barroso has urged US President Barack Obama and European leaders to deepen their transatlantic ties at a time of “great challenges”.”The US and the EU should acknowledge their interdependence and the need for openness, while working closely together to shape multilateral responses to global challenges, from the financial and economic crises to peace and security, including in the Middle East, development challenges, and of course the defining struggle of our generation: to stop and reverse climate change,” Barroso said in a statement marking Obama’s inauguration.

Relations between the EU and the US reached a low under George W. Bush, whose administration frustrated many European leaders by declaring war on Iraq and by refusing to cooperate in the fight against global warming.

Barroso said he looked forward to working with Obama “to promote a politics of global engagement that will support international institutions reformed to address effectively our global responsibilities, from climate change to development aid, trade, democracy and human rights, and sound financial systems”.

Barroso’s comments were echoed by European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering.

“With the arrival of this new US Administration, we can relaunch transatlantic relations and put them on a new and dynamic footing. We have a unique chance to open a new chapter and engage in new thinking. Our aim is to forge a strong EU-US partnership based on equality,” Poettering said.

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