Obama, Sarkozy warn Iran on nuclear weapons

June 6th, 2009 - 7:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Paris, June 6 (DPA) US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy Saturday warned Iran not to pursue the development of nuclear weapons.
“Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons would be profoundly dangerous… for the entire world,” Obama said after meeting with Sarkozy in the northern French city of Caen.

Other countries in the Middle East would then be moved to develop nuclear weapons as well, Obama warned, adding: “We can’t afford a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”

“The US and France are together on this issue,” Sarkozy said. “We do not want nuclear proliferation.”

The talks between the two leaders, ahead of ceremonies commemorating the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy by Allied forces, touched on a broad array on subjects, including Afghanistan, the Middle East and relations with Russia.

Sarkozy said that “never in the history of our two countries have the US and France been so close on major issues,” including how to resolve the crisis in the Middle East.

“I told Obama how much we agree with him on the issue on Israel and Palestine - two states living side by side,” Sarkozy said.

Obama said that progress in the conflict “would mean the parties are… in serious negotiations to achieve a two-state solution.” He added: “Their fates are tied together.”

Obama also noted that it was in Israel’s interest “to resolve (the crisis) in a peaceful way,” and he called on the Palestinians “to renounce violence and incitement.”

However, the two leaders did not agree on everything. Responding to a journalist’s question, Obama reiterated his belief that Turkey should be allowed to join the European Union, which Sarkozy opposes.

“I think Turkey is an enormously important ally. They are interested in further integration in Europe. I would encourage that,” Obama said.

Sarkozy responded by saying that his and Obama’s objectives regarding Ankara were the same - that Turkey should play an important role in linking East and West.

“But we differ on how,” he said.

Obama was welcomed to Caen by several thousand cheering, flag-waving spectators. The US president responded by plunging into the crowd, shaking hands and speaking with well-wishers, before he and Sarkozy and their wives, both of whom wore white, entered the Caen prefecture for talks and a working lunch.

After the talks, Obama and Sarkozy travelled to the cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

They are to be joined there by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Britain’s Prince Charles and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as well as some 1,500 World War II veterans.

The event is being held to honour the Allied soldiers who died in the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy, which marked the beginning of the end of the war.

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