President Barack Obama’s Statement on the UK Decision to Leave the European Union



President Obama on the UK Decision to Leave the European Union

Source: WH, 6-24-16

“The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy. So too is our relationship with the European Union, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond. The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world.”


Full Text Political Transcripts June 24, 2016: British Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech announcing his resignation after the UK votes to leave the European Union



British Prime Minister David Cameron announces his resignation after the UK votes to leave the European Union

Source: AOL, 6-24-16

“Good morning everyone, the country has just taken part in a giant democratic exercise, perhaps the biggest in our history.

Over 33 million people from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar have all had their say.

We should be proud of the fact that in these islands we trust the people for these big decisions.

We not only have a parliamentary democracy, but on questions about the arrangements for how we’ve governed there are times when it is right to ask the people themselves and that is what we have done.

The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected.

I want to thank everyone who took part in the campaign on my side of the argument, including all those who put aside party differences to speak in what they believe was the national interest and let me congratulate all those who took part in the Leave campaign for the spirited and passionate case that they made.

The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.

It was not a decision that was taken lightly, not least because so many things were said by so many different organisations about the significance of this decision.

So there can be no doubt about the result.

Across the world people have been watching the choice that Britain has made.

I would reassure those markets and investors that Britain’s economy is fundamentally strong and I would also reassure Britons living in European countries and European citizens living here there will be no immediate changes in your circumstances.

There will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold.

We must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union.

This will need to involve the full engagement of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments to ensure that the interests of all parts of our United Kingdom are protected and advanced.

But above all this will require strong, determined and committed leadership.

I’m very proud and very honoured to have been Prime Minister of this country for six years.

I believe we’ve made great steps, with more people in work than ever before in our history, with reforms to welfare and education, increasing people’s life chances, building a bigger and stronger society, keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world and enabling those who love each other to get married whatever their sexuality, but above all restoring Britain’s economic strength.

And I’m grateful to everyone who’s helped to make that happen.

I have also always believed that we have to confront big decisions, not duck them.

That is why we delivered the first coalition government in 70 years, to bring our economy back from the brink.

It’s why we delivered a fair, legal and decisive referendum in Scotland.

And it’s why I made the pledge to renegotiate Britain’s position in the European Union and to hold the referendum on our membership and have carried those things out.

I fought this campaign in the only way I know how, which is to say directly and passionately what I think and feel – head, heart and soul.

I held nothing back, I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the European Union and I made clear the referendum was about this and this alone – not the future of any single politician including myself.

But the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.

I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.

This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly but I do believe it’s in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.

There is no need for a precise timetable today but in my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October.

Delivering stability will be important and I will continue in post as Prime Minister with my Cabinet for the next three months.

The Cabinet will meet on Monday, the Governor of the Bank of England is making a statement about the steps that the Bank and the Treasury are taking to reassure financial markets.

We will also continue taking forward the important legislation that we set before Parliament in the Queen’s Speech.

And I have spoken to Her Majesty the Queen this morning to advise her of the steps that I am taking.

A negotiation with the European Union will need to begin under a new prime minister and I think it’s right that this new prime minister takes the decision about when to trigger Article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU.

I will attend the European Council next week to explain the decision the British people have taken and my own decision.

The British people have made a choice that not only needs to be respected but those on the losing side of the argument – myself included – should help to make it work.

Britain is a special country – we have so many great advantages – a parliamentary democracy where we resolve great issues about our future through peaceful debate, a great trading nation with our science and arts, our engineering and our creativity, respected the world over.

And while we are not perfect I do believe we can be a model for the multi-racial, multi-faith democracy, that people can come and make a contribution and rise to the very highest that their talent allows.

Although leaving Europe was not the path I recommended, I am the first to praise our incredible strengths.

I said before that Britain can survive outside the European Union and indeed that we could find a way.

Now the decision has been made to leave, we need to find the best way and I will do everything I can to help.

I love this country and I feel honoured to have served it and I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed.

Thank you very much.”

Full Text Political Transcripts June 24, 2016: Brexit Results: Referendum of the United Kingdom’s European Union membership



Referendum of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union

Last updated Jun 24 at 2:11 AM
Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?
100.0% Reporting
Remain a member of the European Union

Leave the European Union



Full Text Political Transcripts July 14, 2015: Joint statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on reaching the Iran Nuclear Deal




Joint statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Vienna, 14 July 2015

Source: EEAS, 7-14-15

Today is an historic day.

It is a great honour for us to announce that we have reached an agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue.

With courage, political will, mutual respect and leadership, we delivered on what the world was hoping for: a shared commitment to peace and to join hands in order to make our world safer. This is an historic day also because we are creating the conditions for building trust and opening a new chapter in our relationship.

This achievement is the result of a collective effort.

No one ever thought it would be easy. Historic decisions never are. But despite all twists and turns of the talks, and the number of extensions, hope and determination enabled us to overcome all the difficult moments. We have always been aware we had a responsibility to our generation and the future ones.

Thanks to the constructive engagement of all parties, and the dedication and ability of our teams, we have successfully concluded negotiations and resolved a dispute that lasted more than 10 years.

Many people brought these difficult negotiations forward during the last decade and we would like to thank all of them – as we would like to thank the International Atomic Energy Agency for its critical contribution and close cooperation as well as the Austrian government for the support and hospitality.

We, the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security policy and the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, together with the Foreign Ministers of the People´s Republic of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America met here in Vienna, following several months of intensive work, at various levels and in different formats, to negotiate the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), based on the key parameters agreed in Lausanne on 2 April.

We have today agreed on the final text of this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

The E3/EU+3 and the Islamic Republic of Iran welcome this historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which will ensure that Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful, and mark a fundamental shift in their approach to this issue. They anticipate that full implementation of this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will positively contribute to regional and international peace and security. Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action includes Iran’s own long-term plan with agreed limitations on Iran’s nuclear program, and will produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance, and energy.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action comprises of a main text, and five technical annexes – on nuclear, sanctions, civil nuclear energy cooperation, a joint commission, and implementation. These documents are detailed and specific: that is important because all sides wanted clarity so as to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a balanced deal that respects the interests of all sides. It is also complex, detailed and technical: we cannot fully summarise the agreement now. But the full main text and all its annexes will be made public still today and will be presented within the next few days by the E3+3 to the Security Council for endorsement.

We know that this agreement will be subject to intense scrutiny. But what we are announcing today is not only a deal but a good deal. And a good deal for all sides – and the wider international community.

This agreement opens new possibilities and a way forward to end a crisis that has lasted for more than 10 years. We are committed to make sure this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is fully implemented, counting also on the contribution of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

We call on the world community to support the implementation of this historic effort.

This is the conclusion of our negotiations, but this is not the end of our common work. We will keep doing this important task together.



Political Musings September 8, 2013: Obama fails to gain international support for Syria strike at G20 Summit




Obama fails to gain international support for Syria strike at G20 Summit (Video)

By Bonnie K. Goodman


President Barack Obama returned from the G20 Summit on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 unable to gain a wide backing for a military strike against Syria from the majority of the G20 countries present at the summit. President Obama is leading….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency May 19, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at the Closing of G8 Summit Discusses Agreed Upon Economic Solutions to the Eurozone Crisis




Statement by President Obama at Closing of G8 Summit

Aspen Cabin
Camp David, Maryland

6:04 P.M. EDT

Good afternoon, everybody.  It has been a great pleasure to host the leaders of some of the world’s largest economies here at Camp David.  I think the surroundings gave us an opportunity to hold some intimate discussions and make some genuine progress.

For the past three years, our nations have worked together and with others first to rescue a global economy from freefall, then to wrestle it back to a path of recovery and growth.  Our progress has been tested at times by shocks like the disaster in Japan, for example.  Today it’s threatened once again by the serious situation in the eurozone.

As all the leaders here today agreed, growth and jobs must be our top priority.  A stable, growing European economy is in everybody’s best interests — including America’s.  Europe is our largest economic partner.  Put simply, if a company is forced to cut back in Paris or Madrid, that might mean less business for manufacturers in Pittsburgh or Milwaukee.  And that might mean a tougher time for families and communities that depend on that business.

And that’s why, even as we’ve confronted our own economic challenges over the past few years, we’ve collaborated closely with our European allies and partners as they’ve confronted theirs.  And today, we discussed ways they can promote growth and job creation right now, while still carrying out reforms necessary to stabilize and strengthen their economies for the future.

We know it is possible — in part, based on our own experience here.  In my earliest days in office, we took decisive steps to confront our own financial crisis — from making banks submit to stress tests to rebuilding their capital — and we put in place some of the strongest financial reforms since the Great Depression.

At the same time, we worked to get our own fiscal house in order in a responsible way.  And through it all, even as we worked to stabilize the financial sector and bring down our deficits and debt over the longer term, we stayed focused on growing the economy and creating jobs in the immediate term.

Of course, we still have a lot of work to do.  Too many of our people are still looking for jobs that pay the bills.  Our deficits are still too high.  But after shrinking by nearly 9 percent the quarter before I took office, America’s economy has now grown for almost three consecutive years.  After losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month, our businesses have created more than 4 million jobs over the past 26 months.  Exports have surged and manufacturers are investing in America again.

And this economic growth then gives us more room to take a balanced approach to reducing our deficit and debt, while preserving our investments in the drivers of growth and job creation over the long term — education, innovation, and infrastructure for the 21st century.

Europe’s situation, of course, is more complicated.  They’ve got a political and economic crisis facing Greece, slow growth and very high unemployment in several countries.  And what’s more, when they want to decide on a way to move forward, there are 17 countries in the eurozone that need to come to an agreement.  We recognize that and we respect that.

But the direction the debate has taken recently should give us confidence.  Europe has taken significant steps to manage the crisis.  Individual countries and the European Union as a whole have engaged in significant reforms that will increase the prospects of long-term growth.  And there’s now an emerging consensus that more must be done to promote growth and job creation right now in the context of these fiscal and structural reforms.  That consensus for progress was strengthened here at Camp David.

Today we agreed that we must take steps to boost confidence and to promote growth and demand while getting our fiscal houses in order.  We agreed upon the importance of a strong and cohesive eurozone, and affirmed our interest in Greece staying in the eurozone while respecting its commitments.  Of course, we also recognized the painful sacrifices that the Greek people are making at this difficult time, and I know that my European colleagues will carry forward these discussions as they prepare for meetings next week.

The leaders here understand the stakes.  They know the magnitude of the choices they have to make and the enormous political, economic, and social costs if they don’t.  In addition to our G8 meeting, it was — I was able to talk to them individually over the last two days and I reaffirmed that Europe has the capacity to meet its challenges, and America is not only confident in their ability to meet their challenges, but we are supportive of their efforts.

This morning, I updated you on the progress we made last night in our discussion of security issues.  And today, following our discussion of the economy, we also made progress on a range of other important challenges.  We discussed the importance of pursuing an all-of-the-above strategy for energy security in a safe and sustainable way.  Leaders agreed to join a new U.S.-led coalition to address climate change, in part by reducing short-lived pollutants.  And in the face of increasing disruptions in the supply of oil, we agreed that we must closely monitor global energy markets.  Together, we stand ready to call upon the International Energy Agency to take action to ensure that the market remains fully and timely supplied.

We also announced a new alliance on food security with African leaders and the private sector as part of an effort to lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next decade.  We discussed our support for a sustainable Afghan economy as we wind down the war, and we reaffirmed our support for the democratic transitions underway in the Middle East and North Africa.

So I’m very pleased that we were able to make some important progress here at Camp David.  And we’re going to keep at it.  Tomorrow we begin our NATO summit in my hometown of Chicago where we’ll discuss our plans to responsibly end the war in Afghanistan.  Next week, European leaders will gather to discuss their next steps on the eurozone.  Next month, we’ll all have the chance to continue this collaboration at the G20 in Mexico.  And I look forward to building on this progress in promoting economic recovery in the weeks and months to come.

Thank you very much, everybody.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the great views and the great weather.

Full Text November 28, 2011: President Barack Obama & Senior European Union Officials’ Joint Statement at the EU Summit



An EU Summit at the White House

Source: WH, 11-28-11
20111128 EU Summit

President Barack Obama, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, left, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, right, deliver statements to the media following the EU Summit in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 28, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today at the White House, President Obama met with a group of senior officials from the European Union.

The focus of their talks was the global economy — though they also touched on the political transformation in the Middle East, Iran’s nuclear program, and steps necessary to ensure success in Afghanistan.

After the meetings, the President, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso spoke briefly to reporters. President Obama said:

As the world’s two largest economies and as each other’s most important trading partners, we spent a lot of time focusing on how we can continue to grow our economies and create good jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. A large part of that conversation obviously revolved around the eurozone crisis, and Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso have been very actively engaged with the heads of government and heads of state in Europe to try to resolve this crisis. I communicated to them that the United States stands ready to do our part to help them resolve this issue.

The leaders also issued a joint statement, describing their shared commitment to create jobs and ensure financial stability.

Even as the EU Summit unfolded today in Washington, European leaders continue to meet to discuss a solution to the eurozone debt crisis. In his remarks to the press, the President spoke about the “huge importance” of reaching that resolution.


Joint Statement: US-EU Summit

1.  We, the leaders of the United States and the European Union, met today at the White House to affirm our close partnership.  Drawing upon our shared values and experience, and recognizing our deep interdependence, we are committed to ensuring that our partnership brings greater prosperity and security to our 800 million citizens, and to working together to address global challenges.

2.  Since our meeting in Lisbon last November, the global economy has entered a new and difficult phase.  We are committed to working together to reinvigorate economic growth, create jobs, and ensure financial stability.  We will do so by taking actions that address near-term growth concerns, as well as fiscal and financial vulnerabilities, and that strengthen the foundations of long-lasting and balanced growth. In that regard, the United States welcomes the EU’s actions and determination to take all necessary steps to ensure the euro area’s financial stability and resolve the crisis.  The EU looks forward to U.S. action on medium term fiscal consolidation. We agree on the importance of working together with emerging economies to foster policies supporting sustained and balanced global growth.  We recall our commitment to implement fully the outcome of the G20 Cannes Summit.

3.  We recall our G20 commitment to support the multilateral trading system and resist protectionism.  We stand by the Doha Development Agenda mandate and recognize the progress achieved so far, but note that in order to contribute to confidence we must pursue fresh, credible approaches in 2012 to advance the negotiations and pursue new opportunities and challenges.  We look forward to the upcoming Ministerial meeting in Geneva, which provides an important opportunity to work on such approaches.

4.  We applaud the success of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) on a wide range of issues and welcome the progress achieved in secure trade and supply chain security, electric vehicles and related infrastructure, regulatory practices, small and medium-sized enterprises, and in the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector.  We encourage the TEC’s continued leadership in helping us avoid unnecessary divergence in regulations and standards that adversely affects trade.  We urge the TEC, together with our regulators and standard-setters to step up cooperation in key sectors such as nanotechnology and raw materials to develop compatible approaches to emerging technologies.  We also instruct the TEC to pursue its work on strategic economic questions, not least in the field of investment, innovation policy, and the protection of intellectual property rights to level the playing field for our companies in third countries, in particular emerging economies.

5.  We must intensify our efforts to realize the untapped potential of transatlantic economic cooperation to generate new opportunities for jobs and growth, particularly in emerging sectors.  We are committed to making the U.S.-EU trade and investment relationship – already the largest and most integrated in the world – stronger.  To that end, we have directed the TEC to establish a joint High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth, co-chaired by the U.S. Trade Representative and the European Commissioner for Trade.  We ask the Working Group to identify and assess options for strengthening the U.S.-EU economic relationship, especially those that have the highest potential to support jobs and growth.  The Working Group is to report its recommendations and conclusions to Leaders by the end of 2012, with an interim report in June 2012 on the status of this work.
6.  We recognize the vital role of the U.S.-EU Energy Council in fostering cooperation on energy security, renewables and other clean energy technologies, energy efficiency, and effective policies for facilitating trade and bringing clean energy technologies to market.  We affirm the value of common approaches toward safe and sustainable development of energy resources and the diversification of supplies.  We also call for reinforced bilateral and multilateral cooperation with a special focus on critical materials, smart grid technologies, hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and nuclear fusion.

7.  On climate change, we affirm our intent to work closely together to ensure a positive, balanced outcome in Durban, including mitigation, transparency and financing.  We stand fully behind the commitments we made last year in Cancun.  We affirm that Durban should deliver on operationalizing the Cancun agreements and helping the international community move a step further towards a comprehensive, global framework with the participation of all, including robust and transparent greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitments by all major economies, recalling the 2°C objective agreed upon in Cancun.  With this in mind, we will cooperate closely in other relevant fora, notably the Major Economies Forum.  We also intend to work together to address other global sources of emissions, including from the aviation and maritime sectors, in the appropriate multilateral forums and consistent with applicable agreements.

8.  As the leading donors of development assistance, we reaffirm our commitment to aid effectiveness, recognizing that our joint efforts to advance division of labor, transparency, country ownership, and accountability will enhance the impact of our assistance.  We are coordinating our preparations for the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, and will continue to work closely to strengthen partnerships among all development stakeholders, accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goals, and address the challenges encountered in fragile states.  In 2012, we have committed to make information on foreign assistance programs more accessible and compatible with international standards, and will encourage the OECD DAC to become an international hub for aid transparency.  We request the U.S.-EU Development Dialogue to pursue with vigor our joint efforts in areas such as food security, climate change, health and the MDGs.  We agreed on the importance of close cooperation on security and development in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan.

9.  The events in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya over the past year offer an historic opportunity for successful democratic reform in the Arab world, inclusive economic and social development, and regional integration.  The unfolding democratic process in Tunisia is an encouraging example of the potential for democratic transition.  Egypt today has just begun a complex election process as the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces begins to transfer authority over civilian functions to a new government.  Still, considerable challenges lie ahead.  As the two largest providers of foreign assistance to the region who share core principles and values that have helped our own societies and economies to integrate, we pledge to support the democratic transitions underway, as well as broader political and economic reform in the region, including the constitutional reforms in Jordan and Morocco.  In Libya we are working together on short term assistance and needs assessments, and will continue to seek new opportunities for greater cooperation, in coordination with the Transitional National Council and the UN, to meet the needs of the Libyan people.

10.  Jointly, and through the Deauville Partnership effort, we intend to promote democracy, peace, and prosperity, and to increase economic growth and integration in the Middle East and North Africa.  We are committed to collaborate closely in areas such as support for democratic transitions, strengthening the positive role of civil society, and health and education programming.  We also extend our support to making women’s rights a legal and practical reality in the region.  We share a strong interest in economic reform and will also jointly promote best practices that support trade, investment, and job creation and deepen intra-regional trade and integration.  We are both eager to increase our trade and investment links with the region.  We plan to work in partnership with international financial institutions to ensure robust donor coordination and in particular to ratify quickly necessary changes to the agreement establishing the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to allow lending in the region.

11.  We call on the Syrian government to end violence immediately, permit the immediate entry of human rights observers and international journalists, and allow for a peaceful and democratic transition.  We also welcome the agreement for political transition in Yemen and call on all political actors to help implement it in good faith, and in accordance with UNSCR 2014.

12.  We reaffirm the Quartet Statement adopted in New York on 23 September 2011 that provides a framework for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and we call on the two parties to engage actively in this effort.

13.  On Iran, we share deep concern about activities relating to the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, as highlighted in the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General’s report and the November 18 Board of Governors’ resolution.  We stress our determination to ensure that Iran complies with its obligations, including abiding by United Nations Security Council resolutions, and to cooperate fully with the IAEA to address the international community’s serious concerns over the nature of its nuclear program.  We reaffirm our commitment to work toward a diplomatic solution, implement UN Security Council Resolution 1929 (2010) and other relevant Security Council Resolutions, and consider additional measures given Iran’s continued failure to abide by its international obligations.  We also note the recent plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, the sanctions we have imposed thereafter on five individuals including the head of the Qods Force, and our determination to ensure the perpetrators and their accomplices are held to account.

14.  With regard to the EU’s Eastern neighbors, we are working together to support democracy, resolve protracted conflicts, foster economic modernisation, and advance their political association and economic integration with the EU, recognizing in this regard the importance of the EU’s Eastern Partnership.  We insist that the Government of Belarus immediately release and rehabilitate its political prisoners, and make progress towards respect for the principles of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights; and call on the Government of Ukraine to make good on commitments to uphold democratic values and the rule of law, notably to ensure a fair, transparent and impartial process in trials related to members of the former Government including any appeal in the case of Ms Tymoshenko.  The right of appeal should not be compromised by imposing limitations on the defendants’ ability to stand in future elections in Ukraine, including the parliamentary elections scheduled for next year.

15. We pledge to continue our close cooperation in the western Balkans and reaffirm our commitment to preserve stability and to support the reforms needed to move the region forward on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration.

16.  The United States and the EU have a strategic interest in enhancing co-operation on political, economic, security, and human rights issues in the Asia-Pacific region to advance peace, stability and prosperity.  We intend to increase our dialogue on Asia-Pacific issues and coordinate activities to demonstrate an enduring, high-level commitment to the region and encourage regional integration, including through the region’s multilateral organizations.

17.  We note our continued efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with particular attention to plans for the December 5 Bonn Conference on Afghanistan and the international community’s long-term commitment to support sustainable security and economic development in Afghanistan, based on effective and accountable institutions of governance and sustainable assistance levels, after the planned drawdown of international military forces.  We support economic development and wider reforms in Pakistan and note Pakistan’s important role and ongoing commitment to combating terrorism and achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan and South Asia.

18.  We note the considerable progress made since our last meeting in Lisbon on our commitments on a wide range of transnational security issues that affect our citizens.  We welcome the successful completion of negotiations on a new Passenger Name Record agreement, and look forward to its early adoption and ratification.  We are determined to finalize negotiations on a comprehensive U.S.-EU data privacy and protection agreement that provides a high level of privacy protection for all individuals and thereby facilitates the exchange of data needed to fight crime and terrorism.  We reaffirm our desire to complete secure visa-free travel arrangements between the US and all Member States of the EU as soon as possible and consistent with applicable, domestic legislation.  We look forward to a positive outcome for Administration-supported legislation that would refine the criteria for the Visa Waiver Program.

19.  We encourage continued efforts to extend our partnership on counter-terrorism cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, including through the UN.  We applaud the establishment of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, and our cooperation to combat terrorist financing.  We strongly support continuation of our joint efforts to empower diaspora communities to counter violent extremism.
20.  To strengthen our collaboration on conflict prevention and crisis response, already ongoing in many theaters, the U.S. and EU signed a framework agreement in May 2011 that facilitates U.S. civilian participation in EU crisis management missions.  As the trans-Atlantic community faces the challenges of crisis management in an era of fiscal austerity, we encourage further work to strengthen the EU-NATO strategic partnership in crisis management, including on capabilities development, ahead of the 2012 NATO Summit, in the spirit of mutual reinforcement, inclusiveness, and decision-making autonomy.

21.  We reaffirm the commitments enshrined in the joint declaration on non-proliferation and disarmament we adopted in 2009 and the joint statement on UNSCR 1540 in 2011.  We support the conclusions and recommendations of the May 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, including the Action Plan and proposed 2012 Middle East conference.  We are determined to promote the IAEA’s safeguards, Additional Protocol, and the highest standards of safety and security for peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the Nuclear Security Summit objectives, a successful Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference, and the convening of a Diplomatic Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2012.

22.  We share a commitment to a single, global Internet, and will resist unilateral efforts to weaken the security, reliability, or independence of its operations— recognizing that respect for fundamental freedoms online, and joint efforts to strengthen security, are mutually reinforcing.  We welcome the progress made by the U.S.-EU Working Group on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime, notably the successful Cyber Atlantic 2011 exercise.  We endorse its ambitious goals for 2012, including combating online sexual abuse of children; enhancing the security of domain names and Internet Protocol addresses; promotion of international ratification, including by all EU Member States, of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime ideally by year’s end; establishing appropriate information exchange mechanisms to jointly engage with the private sector; and confronting the unfair market access barriers that U.S. and European technology companies face abroad.

23.  Our meeting today is proof that a strong U.S.-EU partnership is crucial to building a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world.  We know that our ability to respond to and overcome the global challenges we face is increased by the degree to which we can act in close coordination and cooperation.  We will continue to seek every opportunity to increase our cooperation.

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