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Obama calls for strong, united Europe

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks after touring the Hannover Messe Trade Fair in Hanover, Germany, April 25, 2016. USA is partner country of the industrial fair Hannover Messe 2016 running from April 25 to April 29, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Watson

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks after touring the Hannover Messe Trade Fair in Hanover, Germany, April 25, 2016. USA is partner country of the industrial fair Hannover Messe 2016 running from April 25 to April 29, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Watson

US President Barack Obama made an impassioned plea for European unity in the face of rising populism and scepticism about the European Union Monday, urging the continent to recognise its own achievements.

“A strong and united Europe is a necessity for the world,” Obama said in a landmark speech in the German city of Hanover, as he contrasted the prosperity of today with the wars and hardship of the last century.

Visiting a continent reeling from a migration crisis, economic stasis and facing the prospect of Britain abandoning the European Union, Obama said “the entire world needs a strong and prosperous and democratic and united Europe.”

While he admitted that European institutions can be frustrating, he argued “turning inward” is not the answer to Europe’s problems.



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