Obama Meets With Danish Prime Minister Over EU, Syria
Douglas Becker, an assistant professor in USC’s department of international relations, said maintaining a healthy relationship between Denmark and the U.S. is extremely important.
“Perhaps most pointedly in this summit, Denmark has the presidency of the European Union,” Becker said. “For many observers, this meeting is as much a meeting between the U.S. and the EU as it is with the U.S. and Denmark.”
Denmark’s aid to U.S. operations in Libya and Denmark has been instrumental in helping troops regain stability in both locations, according to the president.
“They operate without caveat, have taken significant casualties, for which obviously all of us extend our condolences to the families that have been affected,” President Obama said after the meeting. “But because of the outstanding work that's been done by Danish soldiers in Afghanistan, we're seeing great progress in the areas where they operate.”
But one of the most pressing issues is the economy—as several European nations sink further into debt, the euro is also crashing. According to Becker, this could have serious consequences for the U.S.
“The United States needs a strong euro to maintain its ability to export American goods at high levels to the nations within the Euro Zone,” Becker said. “The recovery in the U.S. is greatly dependent on maintaining a healthy European currency.”
Speaking to humanitarian issues, both the president and the prime minister promised to put continued pressure on Syria, where there has been an increase in violence since the people called for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
“I have to say that all of us who've been seeing the terrible pictures coming out of Syria and Homs recently recognize it is absolutely imperative for the international community to rally,” Obama said, “and send a clear message to President Assad that it is time for a transition, it is time for that regime to move on, and it is time to stop the killing of Syrian citizens by their own government.”
Becker said the U.S. should continue its communication with Denmark.
“Simply maintaining strong relations with the Danes is likely the best strategy for the U.S.,” he said.
The prime minister will be in Chicago for the NATO summit, where officials will continue to discuss foreign security matters.
Reach Staff Reporter Nandini Ruparel here.