‘United Europe Vi­tal to Con­front Ter­ror’

US to send 250 ad­di­tional spe­cial forces per­son­nel to Syria

The Economic Times - - Around The World - JUSTIN SINK & TO­LUSE OLORUN­NIPA

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama said on Mon­day that col­lec­tive ac­tion was the only way to con­front myr­iad chal­lenges fac­ing Europe, ar­gu­ing that con­ti­nen­tal unity is vi­tal to ad­dress the threat of ter­ror­ism, upheaval in the Mid­dle East and a mi­grant cri­sis. “If a uni­fied peace­ful, lib­eral, plu­ral­is­tic, free-mar­ket Europe be­gins to doubt it­self, be­gins to ques­tion the progress that’s been made over the last sev­eral decades, then we can’t ex­pect the progress that’s just now tak­ing hold in many places around the world will con­tinue,” Obama said in a speech at a trade fair in Hanover, Ger­many. “In­stead we will be em­pow­er­ing those whoar­guethat­democ­ra­cy­can’twork.”

The speech was the book­end for a visit to Europe that saw Obama at­tempt to bol­ster long­time po­lit­i­cal al­lies fac­ing tough do­mes­tic de­bates over na­tional unity. In the UK, Obama waded into an in­creas­ingly bit­ter ref­er­en­dum on whether to leave the Euro­pean Union, urg­ing vot­ers to re­main part of the group. In Ger­many, where chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel has come un­der po­lit­i­cal strain af­ter about1 mil­lion refugees en­tered the country last year, Obama praised her lead­er­ship and moral­ity. On Mon­day, the pres­i­dent said the Euro­peanUnion­wa­so­ne­ofthe­great­est eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal achieve­ments in his­tory. “The United States and the en­tire world needs a strong and pros­per­ous and demo­cratic and united Europe,” Obama said. “And per­haps you need an out­sider, some­body who’s not a Euro­pean, to re­mind you of the mag­ni­tude­ofwhaty­ouhaveachieved.”

Obama used the speech to an­nounce hewould­send250ad­di­tion­alUSspe­cial forces per­son­nel to Syria to aug­ment the fight against Is­lamic State mil­i­tants, and said he hoped other al­lies would in­crease their com­mit­ments to the con­flict as the group loses ter­ri­tory.

VIR­TUAL RE­AL­ITY Obama tests VR gog­gles as Ger­man chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel looks on — AP

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