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U.S. has strong interest in supporting Europe: Obama

(Xinhua)

08:32, February 10, 2012

ROME, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday ahead of a meeting at the White House with Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti that the European and U.S. economies are inherently bound together.

In an interview to Turin-based La Stampa newspaper, Obama said the European and U.S. banks and financial markets are profoundly linked.

"Relations with Europe play an important role in our efforts to create jobs and prosperity in the United States," Obama said, adding the U.S. exclusive alliance with Europe has deep roots in historical common values.

Also for this reason, he said, the U.S. have a strong interest in supporting the growth of Europe and prosperity of the eurozone, and will continue to help the European friends in their commitment to solving the crisis.

Obama said that the financial situation in Europe will be at the center of the agenda in the meeting with Monti, adding he is confident that "Europe has the economic and financial capacity to overcome the crisis."

He said he will discuss with Mondi the comprehensive steps the Italian government as well as whole Europe are taking to reinvigorate growth through structural reforms, as well as the prospect of an expansion of their financial firewalls.

The U.S. president particularly praised Monti's efforts to steer Italy out of debt crisis, saying his cabinet of technocrats has moved "impressive steps" to modernize the country's economy.

He also expressed gratitude to Italy that he defined "one of the U.S. most important allies", for its active involvement in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and other countries.

"Italy and its armed forces have played a vital role in these missions. Our transatlantic partnership is the most successful alliance, and the greatest catalyst for global action. I am determined to keep it that way," Obama said.

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