Readout of the President’s Video Teleconference with Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Hollande of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Renzi of Italy
President Obama spoke today with Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Hollande of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Renzi of Italy. The five leaders discussed next steps concerning the crisis in Ukraine, efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza, and also the situations in Iraq and Libya. On Ukraine, the leaders stressed the continued need for unrestricted access to the shoot-down site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to allow for recovery of victims’ remains and for international investigators to proceed with their efforts. They agreed on the importance of coordinated sanctions measures on Russia for its continued transfer of arms, equipment, and fighters into eastern Ukraine, including since the crash, and to press Russia to end its efforts to destabilize the country and instead choose a diplomatic path for resolving the crisis. Concerning the situation in Gaza, the President noted that Israel has the right to take action to defend itself. The leaders agreed on the need for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, noting shared concern about the risk of further escalation and the loss of more innocent life. On Iraq, they discussed the security challenges, welcomed developments in the political process, and urged the swift completion of the formation of an inclusive government. With respect to Libya, they agreed on the need for an immediate ceasefire among militias in Tripoli, called for the seating of the newly elected Council of Representatives, and underscored support for the UN in seeking a resolution to this conflict. They condemned any use of violence to attack civilians, intimidate officials, or disrupt the political process.