Obama visits Germany for US-EU trade talks

US President Barack Obama arrives in Germany, expected to promote controversial US-EU deal and support Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, speaks with U.S. President Barack Obama during a concert at the G-7 summit at Schloss Elmau hotel near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany, Sunday, June 7, 2015.

US President Barack Obama arrived in the north German city of Hannover on Sunday, where he is expected to promote a controversial US-EU trade deal.

Obama flew in from London to join Chancellor Angela Merkel in opening a trade fair as well as support the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

On Saturday, thousands protested against TTIP in Hannover, claiming it would force down wages and weaken environmental protection, consumer protection and labour rights. There are also concerns the agreement, which has been conducted behind closed doors, will leave the way open for US companies to effectively privatise public services in Europe.

Supporters of the deal say it will increase trade and create millions of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic by removing trade tariffs.

The leaders are to meet at the Herrenhausen palace, where they are expected to discuss TTIP, the refugee crisis and developments in the Middle East.

On Monday, Obama will meet Merkel, President Francois Hollande of France and the prime ministers of Italy and the UK, Matteo Renzi and David Cameron, to discuss the trade deal as well as counter-terrorism, NATO, migration and the situations in Syria, Libya and Ukraine, the White House said.

On his last day in the UK, the BBC broadcast an interview in which Obama ruled out the use of American ground troops in Syria.

“It would be a mistake for the United States, or Great Britain... to send in ground troops and overthrow the Assad regime,” he said, referring to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

He added: “In order for us to solve the long-term problems in Syria, a military solution alone - and certainly us deploying ground troops - is not going to bring that about.”

The president also forecast that DAESH would not be defeated in his last nine months in office.

Obama urged the international community to pressure Russia, Iran and the moderate opposition “to sit down at the table and try to broker a transition” in Syria.

TRTWorld, AA