Obama urges European allies to step up fight against IS

April 26, 2016 08:23
A meeting of allies: (From left) British Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi hold talks in Hannover on Monday. Photo: Reuters

US President Barack Obama urged European allies to step up their efforts to combat terrorist threats.

In a speech in Hannover, Germany on Monday, Obama said more nations need to contribute to the United States-led air campaign against Islamic State, which began in August 2014, the Wall Street Journal reports.

He said they should provide trainers to build up forces in Iraq and offer economic assistance to stabilize liberated areas in Iraq.

The president also confirmed plans to send up to 250 additional military personnel to Syria, boosting their number from 50.

The US special operations forces already on the ground in Syria have made progress in the battle against Islamic State extremists, Obama said, and the additional people will help “keep up this momentum”.

In the afternoon, the US president held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President François Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the newspaper said.

The five leaders discussed the crises in Syria, Libya and Ukraine, and pledged to cooperate closely in seeking to resolve them, Merkel said after the meeting.

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