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U.S., Portugal agree to continue cooperation on Syria, Iran


08:53, November 10, 2011

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- The United States and Portugal agreed on Wednesday to continue their close cooperation at the UN Security Council over issues like Syria, Iran and the Middle East peace.

At their White House talks, U.S. President Barack Obama and his Portuguese counterpart Anibal Cavaco Silva reaffirmed the strength of the partnership between their countries, which they said is building on the "deep friendship and long-standing alliance" between the two NATO allies.

"We also agreed to continue our close cooperation within the UN Security Council, where Portugal currently serves as Council President, on issues of mutual concern, such as Syria, Libya, Middle East peace and Iran," the two leaders said in a joint statement.

"We emphasized the importance that both our countries attach to the role of the United Nations in the promotion of peace, democracy, good governance and human rights," they added.

Obama and Silva also reviewed plans for the upcoming NATO summit slated for May 2012 in Chicago. "We agreed that we would work together in the coming months to ensure that the summit advances our joint goal of ensuring that the alliance is fully prepared to meet the security challenges of the 21st century," they said.

In their last summit in Nov. last year in Lisbon, Portugal, NATO leaders adopted a new strategic concept for the next decade, recommitting the military bloc to a global military role. In addition, they set a goal of starting to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan in 2011 and hand over control of security to the Afghans in 2014.

Obama and Silva discussed ongoing NATO operations, in particular in Afghanistan, saying Portugal intends to maintain its contribution to the Asian nation.

As officials from the EU, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank are in Portugal to review progress in its debt bailout, the two leaders also exchanged views on the present world economic and financial situation. "The United States underscored its full support for Portugal's implementation of its reform program backed by the IMF and the EU," their joint statement said.

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