Obama, NATO chief talk on Libya, fight against DAESH

US President Barack Obama, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg talk on alliance’s role in Libya, fight against DAESH, also refugee crisis in Europe

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US President Barack Obama meets with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (L) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, April 4, 2016.

Updated Apr 5, 2016

The US President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg have said the alliance between NATO and US could help Libya fight against DAESH, and also train and assist groups in Iraq, Jordan and other countries to combat the terror organisation, after an Oval Office meeting on Monday.

"We are continuing to cooperate on an ongoing basis about operations potentially in areas like Libya where you have the beginnings of a government," Obama told reporters after the meeting.

Western powers have been searching for ways to stop DAESH’' expansion in Libya, where it has taken advantage of political and security vacuum to establish a foothold.

The country's warring sides are under deep international pressure to hand over power to the UN backed unity government.

Stoltenberg said the 28-nation "NATO stands ready to provide support" to countries in the region where DAESH is operating.

The two leaders also talked about EU refugee crisis. Obama said the refugees undertake dangerous ways to flee Syria and the response must be "humane and thoughtful."

The US president added that NATO has been an "extraordinary partner" in Afghanistan against Taliban, which will be further discussed at a NATO summit in Warsaw in July.

Although Obama ignored a reporter’'s question over Donald Trump’'s recent statements about NATO, he praised the alliance.

He said "NATO continues to be the linchpin, the cornerstone of our collective defence and US security policy."  

The Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has recently been attacking NATO as an obsolete organisation that is disproportionately funded by the US.

Asked about Trump's comments, Stoltenberg said he did not want to take part in the US election debate but said NATO "is as important as ever both for the United States and Europe."

TRTWorld and agencies