President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met today for talks at Schloss Herrenhausen in Hannover, Germany. The conversation covered the most urgent issues on the trans-Atlantic agenda. The leaders agreed that the implications of irregular migration to Europe posed a severe challenge that needed to be addressed in a comprehensive and sustainable manner, reflecting the values that Europe and the United States share: this implies ongoing NATO and EU activities as well as efforts to tackle the root causes of flight and migration.
On Syria, leaders shared the growing concern that the increasing violations of the agreed Cessation of Hostilities by the regime and the continued obstruction of humanitarian access undermine efforts to bring relief to the Syrian people. They called on all parties to respect the cessation, ensure humanitarian access, and contribute to the success of the Geneva talks on political transition in line with the Geneva Communiqué. They also called on those with influence on the parties to the conflict to press them to refrain from any actions that put the cessation and political talks at risk.
On ISIL, leaders welcomed the Coalition’s continued progress in Iraq and Syria and reiterated their full commitment to defeating the terrorist group.
On Libya, leaders welcomed the steps currently undertaken by the Presidency Council to establish a fully functional and effective government. Leaders emphasized their full support for these efforts. With regard to the growing threat posed by ISIL and the destabilizing impact of criminal smuggling networks, they agreed on the strong and urgent need to support the Libyan people in growing the economy and building the capacity of the security sector. This would help counter criminal smuggling networks and counter the threat posed by ISIL. They agreed that these efforts should be undertaken at the request of the Libyan government and be supported by the international community. The leaders also urged NATO and the EU to draw on their experience in the Aegean to explore how they could work together to address in an orderly and humane way migrant flows in the central Mediterranean.
On Ukraine, leaders reiterated their rejection of Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of the Crimea. There was agreement that full implementation of the Minsk agreements remained crucial. The leaders reiterated that sanctions against Russia would be lifted if the Minsk agreements were fully implemented.
Finally, the leaders discussed the importance of concluding an ambitious Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement, which would expand growth and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.