tv [untitled] CSPAN June 26, 2009 11:00pm-11:30pm EDT
german a chance of -- german chancellor merkel me at the white house. they discussed the situation in iran, the future of guantanamo bay detainees and global climate change. the two leaders spoke for about 35 minutes. . . . . >> we had a very productive discussion in the oval office. chancellor merkel's does it is the latest chapter in the long
partnership between our two countries. the service of our men and women in uniform is together during the long cold war and served today in afghanistan, the innovation of our entrepreneurs that helped sustain our economies, and the balance of friendship and trust between our people that are unbreakable. in recent months, i have come to appreciate these bonds. we have worked closely together at the g-20 summit in london, the nato summit, and the eu u.s. summit in prague. i admire her leadership and pragmatic approach to getting things done. she had the german people have welcomed me twice, during the day of summit, and again this month. i am pleased to return the hospitality today. the chancellor shows -- agrees with my belief that no nation can meet the challenges of today alone.
the united states and germany will continue to play a leadership role across a range of challenges. we are building on the bold steps we took at the summit by aggressively confirming the global economic crisis. i underscored our commitment to strengthening financial regulations, and i welcome the chancellor's commitment. as we prepare for the summit in italy and look ahead to the g-20 summit in pittsburg, we agreed on the need to avoid protectionism and embrace collective action that creates a sustainable growth and shared prosperity. i reiterated america's commitment to stand with germany and the lead with confronting the energy and climate change crisis. i have been very impressed by germany's foresight and commitment that i saw in the many wind turbines.
i hope the united states will match that commitment today when we vote on a critical energy bill that will promote a new generation of clean, renewable energy in our country. the chancellor and i have discussed the tragic situation in iraq. -- in iran. we want them to have their voices heard. it is a universal aspiration. their bravery in the face of brutality is a testament to their enduring pursuit of justice. the violence perpetrated against them as outrageous. despite the government oppose the efforts to a bear witness to that violence, we see it and we condemn it. the iranian people will be the ultimate judge of iran's actions. it must respect the rights and he the will of its people.
the iranian government also has other responsibilities. working with germany and other european partners to prevent them from developing a nuclear arms race in the middle east. we encourage iran to take a path that leads to greater security and prosperity for the iranian people. we also discussed the broader middle east and the need for all parties to redouble their efforts for lasting peace. during our recent -- a recent visit, the chancellor spoke eloquently about germany's everlasting responsibility to the security of israel. they must reject violence and recognize israel's right to exist.
we agree that confronting violent extremism and preventing terrorist attacks demands our continued commitment and a comprehensive strategy. this includes dismantling and disrupting al qaeda and its allies. we honor those who serve, including american and german soldiers that pay their lives there this week. as i prepared him as it -- as a prepared to visit moscow, we will work with the russian government on issues where we agree, and honestly confronting those areas where we disagree. in moscow, we will continue to explore ways in which we can advance our common interests, including our commitment to reducing nuclear arsenals and strengthening the global non- proliferation regime. meeting these challenges will be neither quick nor easy, but i am
reminded of the blessed -- of the lesson from what i went to a timeless baroque church devastated in the second world war. for decades, it lay in ruin, a symbol of war. thanks to the donation some of germans, americans, and people around the world, it was rebuilt, and is quarry restored. today, it stands as a setting symbol of what is possible when countries and friends work together. in that spirit, i want to welcome my friend, chancellor merkel. >> thank you very much. let me say that we have very fond memories of your visit, and also during live in memories of your visit to the concentration cap -- concentration camp.
we're more than aware of the fact that germany would not stand as it stands today had our american friends not help us after the end of the second world war. we also know that now, and the twenty first century, challenges cannot be met by one nation going it alone. we need to stand to gather, do this together, and in this spirit we conducted our talks. i like to underline that the iranian people need to be given the right to peaceful demonstrations. that the iranian people have the right to have their votes be counted and the election results substantiated. the rights of human beings and the citizens are in the visible world over. -- and are indivisible the world
over. it is very desirable in the crease process -- that the peace process and the middle east gain momentum. we want to send a positive message to those forces in the middle east that are not ready to be peaceful. we will work closely together on those, and questions related to arms reductions. a partnership with russia is very important. it is also important for the european union. we have every interest in seeing a very good relationship between the united states and russia. we need russia, looking at the problems we have with iran, and the need to forge a common position with russia and china.
it needs to be continued. we dealt with the preparation of the g-8 meeting that is coming up, the pittsburgh meeting, and i think there has been progress. we have made a very important steps here in the united states for financial market regulation. in the summer this year, we can take stock and see where the regulations meet and try to create a level playing field for the rest of the world. the crisis of this magnitude -- we're very grateful that we can work with the united states on principles as to how all this to be taken into the future. we have to emerge from this crisis and the recovery of our economy is a precondition for the process. we talked about climate, just as
i did this morning what i was in congress. i said that this is a change. the upcoming bill debated in the house -- it really points to the fact that the united states is very serious on climate change. it should not be underestimated, the opportunity this brings us to create a sustainable results during the conflicts. there were many debates in my country and at the european union. when you talk about reduction targets, i know how tricky that is to come to some sort of common ground. i wish you every success. i think it is so important that we say we want to success and talk with the emerging countries. the fact that with united
states, we stand where we stand today, it is an enormous success which it would have not thought possible a year ago. thank you very much for the gracious hospitality for me and the very extensive change views that we were having. >> we have time for a few questions, so i will start with jeff from the new york times. >> thank you mr. president. he suggested that there were few differences in iran. have you changed your view on that? and you apologize for interfering, or does he need to apologize for saying the you were someone like president bush? >> how many questions are you getting in here, brother? [laughter]
we need to give some folks a chance. first of all, what i said originally was that given the structure of the iranian government, and that power resided ultimately with khamenei, the supreme leader, and given that there weren't, at that point, significant differences on the core national security interests that we had initially talked about diplomatically, for example, nuclear-weapons development in iran, the exportation of terrorist activities that we could not automatically assumed that there would be a huge shift on those particular national security issues, depending on who won that
election. i think what is absolutely clear is, over the course of subsequent days, mosavi has shown to capture the imagination or the spirit of forces within iran that were interested in opening up. and that he has become a representative of many of those people who were on the streets and displayed extraordinary bravery and extraordinary courage. i continue to believe that ultimately, it is up to the iranian people to make decisions about who their leaders are going to be. as i said this week, and i have said previously, a government that treats its own citizens with that kind of ruthless and
violence, and that cannot deal with peaceful protesters and are trying to have their voices heard, i think it has moved outside of universal norms that are important to uphold. chancellor might share the belief that what is happening in iran is unacceptable when it comes to violence against its own citizens. what was the second part of your question? >> [unintelligible]
>> i did not take his statements seriously. about apologies. particularly, given the fact that the united states -- i am really not concerned about mr. ahmadinejad apologizing to me. i do think he should think about the obligations he owns his own people -- he owes to his own people. he might consider looking at the families of those that have been beaten, shot, or detained, and that is where i think mr. ahmadinejad and others need answer their questions.
national security and our concerns about international terrorism. we're going to be looking for the help of our friends and our allies as we execute that process. it is one that is going to be admittedly difficult, politically. in the past, i have not only spoken to chancellor merkleel, t other leaders on how to evaluate the detainee's that are in guantanamo and we have seen a surprising response from countries across europe. i think the particular set specifics of what particular detainee goes where, those are
still in preliminary discussions we have to make -- preliminary discussions. we have to make sure that germany's security is thought about, and we will continue to have constructive negotiations on some of these issues. there have been no particular requests made about a certain number of detainees being placed by such and such a date. the chancellor has not made commitments that are specific and that sort. the conversation has remained at a fairly general level at this point. >> we did address that issue, and i made it very clear that we're not going to show responsibility. the minister of the interior is responsible for it.
the they had contacts with home secretaries in the united states. as we go to the question of what is to happen with the former detainees of guantanamo, it is the beginning of our process, we are discussing that. we're not going to shirk that responsibility, but it needs to be outlined with the legal situation. we're showing a constructive spirit, and we will come to a result. i am confident of that. >> thank you, mr. president. a question for each of you. on iran, do the events of the past few weeks, and even of the past couple of days stall your ability to have any kind of meaningful dialogue with them about the nuclear issue? frankly, are you losing precious time on that issue? on iraq, there are a lot of
bombings at the deaths, does that give you any second thoughts on the deadline to pull the combat troops? >> on the iranian issue, i think we're still waiting to see how the situation in iran plays out. and i continue to be deeply disturbed by reports of violence that are taking place there. i continue to call on the iranian government to deal with people who were peacefully protesting, wanting their voices to be heard. there is no doubt that any direct dialogue or diplomacy with iran is going to be affected by the events of the last several weeks. we do not yet noknow how any
potential dialogue will have been affected until we see what has happened inside iran. i will tell you, and this is the point and was making earlier in response to jeff's question, we have a continuing set of national security interests that are going to have to be dealt with because the clock is ticking. iran is developing a nuclear capacity at a fairly rapid clip. they have been doing so for quite some time. iran pose a possession of nuclear weapons would trigger an arms race in the middle east that would be bad, not just for u.s. security, it would be bad for the security of the entire region, including iranian security. even as we clearly speak out in
a unified voice in opposition to the violence that has taken place in iran, we also have to be steady in recognizing that the prospect of iran with nuclear weapon is a big problem. and that we have got to work in concert with the international community to try to prevent that from happening so my expectation would be, and we discussed this, that you're born to continue to see some multilateral discussions with iran. there is a structure that exists that include russia and china. they're going to be discussions that continue around iran pose a nuclear program. -- and iran's nuclear program.
i think we're going to have to see how that plays itself out in the days and weeks ahead. on iraq, obviously any time there is a bombing in iraq, we are concerned. anytime there is loss of innocent life or the loss of military personnel, we grieve for their families. it makes us pay attention. i will tell you that if you look at the overall trend, despite some of these high-profile bombings, iraq pose a security situation has continued to dramatically improve. when i speak to general cody are now or our ambassador in a rock, -- when i speak to the general or our ambassador in iraq, i think there is still some work to do.
the government is not only going to have to continue to strengthen its security forces, it is also of have to engage in the kind of political give-and- take leading up to the national elections that we have been talking about for quite some time. i have not seen as much political progress as i would like to see. there are always going to be -- let me not say always. there are going to continue to be incidents inside iraq for some time. they are at a much lower level than they were in the past. i think the biggest challenge right now is going to be less of those attacks by remnants byal qaeda in iraq -- by al qaeda in iraq or other groups.
if those issues get resolved, then i think you will see a further normalization of the security atmosphere inside iraq. >> of iran, over the past few weeks, we have seen a horrifying scenes. we will not forget this. let me say we shall do everything in order to identify the exact number of victims, who goes but those were, how they dealt with those demonstrators. iran cannot count on the world community taking -- and turning a blind eye to this. we are able to see this. my own experience tells me that is so important that when you're
in this situation, other people in the world are knowledgeable of what is happening to you. in respect of of that, the question is on -- on the other hand, those in iran who would like to have a different system. we would like to have a diplomatic solution to preventing iran from gaining possession of a nuclear weapon. i completely agree with the president. we have to bring russia and china alongside in order to see to it that it is brought about. i think we can be successful. and i think we can be successful in our talks with iran.
the microphone of the gentleman is not working. we cannot translate. [unintelligible] >> has she had any unpleasant experience in germany as an african-american woman in the '80s? how long do we have to wait? [laughter] if this is a commitment, i would like that very much. >> we will have to talk about
it. >> my second question is addressed to you on climate policy between the house of representatives and the senate. how optimistic are you that the more stringent rules will be successful? what will be the consequence of that if they are unable to do that. have you received a reply to this? >> first of all, in terms of my emotional maps, the times that i have visited germany have been extraordinary. i have had a wonderful time. and the people of germany have received me with great warmth and affection.
keep in mind that i visited germany even before was elected president, and we had a pretty good rally in berlin. it wasn't bad. i will always have a warm spot in my heart for germany, in part because of the response and the reaction that i received from the german people. i will tell you that part of the warfield for germany is because i like the chancellor a lot. i have now dealt with a lot of world leaders, and i think chancellor merkel is smart, practical, and i trust her when she says something. that kind of approach is exactly what you want from international pa
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