Obama discusses upcoming E Asia Summit with Japan

Last Updated: Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 16:31

Washington: US President Barack Obama and
Japanese Premier Yoshihiko Noda held talks in Hawaii on the
margins of the APEC meet and discussed a wide range of
bilateral and global issues, including the upcoming East Asia
Summit in Bali.

"The President and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had a
good discussion on a range of issues, including APEC and the
upcoming East Asia Summit, and next steps on (Marine Corps Air
Station) Futenma relocation," White House Press Secretary Jay
Carney said last evening.

The leaders also talked about Japan`s interest in the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Noda noted that he had decided to begin consultations
with TPP members, with an eye to joining the TPP negotiations.

"The President welcomed that important announcement and
Japan`s interest in the TPP agreement, noting that eliminating
the barriers to trade between our two countries could provide
a historic opportunity to deepen our economic relationship, as
well as strengthen Japan`s ties with some of its closest
partners in the region," Carney said.

Obama noted that all TPP countries need to be prepared to
meet the agreement`s high standards, and welcomed Noda`s
statement that he would put all goods, as well as services, on
the negotiating table for trade liberalisation.

After the meeting, Obama told reporters that the alliance
between the US and Japan is the cornerstone of their
relationship and is also vital for security in the
Asia-Pacific region.

"I`m confident that working together we can continue to
build on that relationship in the areas of commerce, the areas
of security, in not only the Asia-Pacific region but around
the world," he said.

Noda said: "I`m very much encouraged by the fact that
America is increasing its presence in the Asia-Pacific region,
and I do believe that Japan and the United States must work
closely together to establish economic goals and also
establish security order in this region."

Obama also had a separate meeting with his Russian
counterpart Dmitry Medvedev and said Russia joining the World
Trade Organisation (WTO) was good for both the countries.

During their meeting in Hawaii, the two leaders
discussed a range of issues including Syria, Iran and
Afghanistan.

"It focused on a number of security issues where the US
and Russia have a significant interest. We discussed
Afghanistan and our plan to transition, and the importance all
the regional parties assisting the Afghan government in
stabilising the country for the benefit of the Afghan people,"
Obama said during a joint press conference.

"We discussed Iran, and reaffirmed our intention to work
to shape a common response so that we can move Iran to follow
its international obligations when it comes to its nuclear
programme," he said.

"We discussed a number of world trouble spots,
including Syria," Obama said.

Obama said the invitation extended to Russia to join
the WTO was a testament to the hard work of President Medvedev
and his team.

"We believe this is going to be good for the United
States, for the world, as well as for Russia, because it will
provide increased opportunities for markets in which we can
sell goods and products and services, as well as purchase
good, products and services without some of the traditional
barriers," he said.

"So we very much appreciate the cooperation and
partnership that we forged around this issue. We think it`s an
example of the importance that both countries place on
economic reform and economic growth," Obama said.

In his remarks, Medvedev said Russia has never received
similar support from any previous administration, and this is
probably the explanation of why the two countries have been
acceding to the Organisation since 1993.

"As has been recognised just now, Russia`s accession is
good not only for Russia itself or for the US or other
countries, but for the entire system of trade relations in the
world," he said.

"Our global economy, global finance is surviving not
the best of times. So the more coordinated actions we take,
the less there are trade barriers. The clearer instructions we
give to our trading ministries, the sooner we will be able to
overcome recession, which, unfortunately, still continues
globally. And the easier it will be to solve our unemployment,
which remains our major problem," Medvedev said.

"This is why the summit of Asia Pacific region
countries is of great importance, so that we can coordinate
and integrate our ideas. I am sure that it will be very
successful at the highest possible level, he said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 16:31

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