Assistant Secretary Philip H. Gordon said the Obama administration is committed to re-establish strong trans-Atlantic relations with Europe.
“The start of a new year provides a good opportunity to reflect on the year past while setting goals for the months ahead. This is a particularly appropriate exercise for the United States government right now, as the Obama Administration has just begun its final year in office before elections this November.” -Mr. Gordon
He said he is delighted to be in Germany and grateful to the Korber Foundation for convening the morning’s meeting, which enables him to reflect on what has been accomplished in transatlantic relations over the last three years and to consider the challenges that we will face together in 2012.
He noted that when then-candidate Obama spoke here in Berlin in July 2008, he stated that one of the priorities of his presidency would be to re-establish strong trans-Atlantic relations.
“Citing the daunting international agenda of the 21st century, he observed that “No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone.” When looking for strong allies with whom to help us deal with a changing world, he concluded that “America has no better partner than Europe.” -Mr. Gordon
He noted this clear choice is based on U.S. ability to communicate and cooperate effectively with democratic, prosperous, militarily-capable allies who share our values and our interests.
He cited that the President put the goal into action by developing three objectives that have guided U.S. engagement with Europe over the last few years.
“First, the United States sought to partner with Europe in addressing all global challenges. We believe that we are vastly stronger in terms of legitimacy, resources, and ideas when we join forces across the Atlantic.” -Mr. Gordon
He stated that the United States wanted to work with Europe on Europe. He noted that while U.S. has successfully consolidated the new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe and integrated them into Euro-Atlantic institutions, its work is not yet done.
“We must complete this historic project by continuing to extend stability, security, prosperity and democracy to the entire continent including the Balkans, Caucasus, and Europe’s east.” -Mr. Gordon
He pointed out that Obama Administration wanted to set relations with Russia on a more constructive course. The U.S. goal has been to cooperate with Russia where they have common interests, while speaking frankly about areas of disagreement, holding firm to its values and principles, and supporting its friends and allies.
Three years later, the strategic alignment between the United States and Europe has never been greater on both international threats and internal challenges.” -Mr. Gordon