LONDON, UK (RPRN) 04/03/09-U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States is not looking to be a patron of Europe but a partner. Speaking in the eastern French city of Strasbourg after talks with France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr. Obama said the United States would like to see Europe develop a stronger defense capability to strengthen this partnership.
The French leader stressed the close relationship between the two countries noting that he and President Obama will meet again in June in Normandy to commemorate the anniversary of the allied D-Day landing there.
Mr. Sarkozy praised Wednesday’s announcement by President Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev on plans to resume talks on extending a treaty limiting long-range nuclear arms.
Mr. Obama stressed the importance of dialogue with Russia. But he repeated his criticism of Moscow’s military sweep into Georgia last year. He also stressed the importance of preserving the autonomy of all European countries
Both men also noted the importance of preventing Iran from developing nuclear arms and convincing North Korea to stop its impending missile launch.
Mr. Obama is in Strasbourg ahead of Friday’s opening of a two-day NATO summit.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.