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Statement by President Donald Tusk before his meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington

European Council
  • 09/03/2015
  • 22:10
  • Statements and remarks
  • 99/15
  • International trade & customs
  • Foreign affairs & international relations
09/03/2015

Good afternoon. I would like to thank President Obama for inviting me, in my new role as President of the European Council, to Washington. We have much to discuss, however I would like to pay special attention to three topics, namely the critical relations with Russia in the context of Ukraine, the threat of terrorism and actions of the so called Islamic State in the context of Libya, and lastly, our negotiations on TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Although these are three very different challenges, they have a common denominator, the need ~ greater than ever before ~ for unity of Europe and the United States. We are witnessing today calling into question, and increasingly more often attacking our fundamental values, freedom, prosperity, liberal democracy and geopolitical order.

Our adversaries with the use of propaganda, acts of violence, violation of the sovereignty of our neighbours are determined to weaken the foundations of the political community of the Western world. Today we can see with full clarity that they are trying to divide us, inside of Europe as well as Europe and America. Only when we are united, will we be able to put a stop to the aggressive policy of Russia against her neighbours. The past has shown that only when we were united, were we able to successfully fight against terrorism. And also thanks to the fact that we have acted together in the field of economy and common trade, did we achieve success.

When it comes to TTIP, getting agreement will not be as difficult as people think. As well as increasing our mutual prosperity, TTIP will keep America and Europe strong in the world. The result must be balanced. And we must bring the public on both sides of the Atlantic with us. Second, we need to prevent violent extremism from spreading in Africa. We must help Libya. We cannot have a failed state, run by warlords and fanatics, slipping into anarchy only 100 miles off the southern coast of Europe. Last, on Ukraine, I know already that we are united on the need for full implementation of the Minsk agreements and on our resolve to maintain the sanctions on Russia until this is done.

In spite of some predictions, brutal politics has returned to us with a vengeance. And increasingly more often it is politics of faits accomplis. That is why it is so important that Europe and the US not only speak the same language but that they also act in unison. Because who we are tomorrow depends on what we do today.

Finally, allow me to reiterate that what we need today on two sides of the Atlantic is the renaissance of faith in our Community. You, Americans, captured this thought in the most convincing phrase I know, United We Stand Divided We Fall.  Thank you.