Obama Cites Value of U.S.-German Alliance

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2011 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma wel­comed Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel to the White House today, call­ing Ger­many one of the Unit­ed States’ strongest friends in a transat­lantic alliance that’s the cor­ner­stone of efforts to pro­mote peace and pros­per­i­ty around the world.

Speak­ing on the South Lawn of the White House, Oba­ma said the gen­er­a­tions-long U.S. rela­tion­ship with Ger­many remains crit­i­cal today.

“At a time when some have asked whether the rise of new glob­al pow­ers means the decline of oth­ers, this vis­it reaf­firms an endur­ing truth,” he said. “Our alliances with nations like Ger­many are more impor­tant than ever. Indeed, they’re indis­pen­si­ble to glob­al secu­ri­ty and pros­per­i­ty.”

Rec­og­niz­ing NATO, to which both nations belong, as “the most suc­cess­ful alliance in human his­to­ry,” the pres­i­dent called its com­mit­ment to its mem­bers’ com­mon defense a pil­lar of glob­al secu­ri­ty. This extends, he said, “from com­plet­ing our mis­sion in Afghanistan to pre­vent­ing ter­ror­ist attacks to achiev­ing our vision of a world with­out nuclear weapons.”

Merkel said the two coun­tries’ sol­id foun­da­tion enables them to face cur­rent chal­lenges togeth­er.

“Ger­many and the Unit­ed States are part­ners, shar­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty for a peace­ful and sta­ble Afghanistan,” she said. “We are pulling in the same direc­tion, try­ing to keep Iran from fol­low­ing its course of devel­op­ing a nuclear forces capa­bil­i­ty. In North Africa, we sup­port the strug­gle for free­dom. And in the Mid­dle East, we sup­port efforts to fill the peace process with new life.”

In addi­tion, Merkel said, both coun­tries have con­front­ed the glob­al eco­nom­ic and finan­cial cri­sis. Oba­ma said their strong economies stand as a tes­ta­ment to what can be achieved when nations invest in their peo­ple and fos­ter inno­va­tion.

“As peo­ple around the world imag­ine a dif­fer­ent future, the sto­ry of Ger­many and our alliance in the 20th cen­tu­ry shows what’s pos­si­ble in the 21st,” Oba­ma said. “Wars can end.

Adver­saries can become allies. Walls can come down. At long last, nations can be whole and can be free.”

Oba­ma is slat­ed to present Merkel the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom dur­ing a state din­ner tonight.

“I see this as a ges­ture of appre­ci­a­tion for the whole of this unit­ed Ger­many,” she said of the hon­or. “It is also a tes­ta­ment of the very, very close ties that bind our two coun­tries togeth­er.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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