'US’ alliance with France is strong as ever'



`US’ alliance with France is strong as ever` Washington: Asserting that United States' alliance with France was as strong as it had been before the election of a new socialist President Francois Hollande, the White House on Monday said US President Barack Obama has proposed to meet him before the G8 and NATO summits.

"Obama and President-elect Hollande each reaffirmed in that phone call the important and enduring alliance between the people of the United States and France. That alliance is strong and as strong today as it was last week," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters at his daily news conference.

"President Obama looks forward to welcoming President-elect Hollande to Camp David for the G8 and then to Chicago for the NATO summit. He proposed that the two men meet beforehand at the White House," he said.

During their talks on Sunday, Carney said, Obama indicated that he looks forward to working closely with Hollande and his government on a range of shared economic and security challenges.

Responding to a question on the situation in Europe, Carney said, the US President said just the other day, the US economy continues to face some headwinds, and the eurozone crisis is one of them.

"That is why he has worked directly with his counterparts in Europe, why Secretary Geithner has worked with his counterparts in Europe to advise and consult on the issue of how best to contain the situation in Europe, how best to get control of it," he said.

European leaders, he said, have taken very significant steps towards dealing with that eurozone crisis, and the President and Geithner and others in the administration will continue to work with European leaders towards that end.

"The President has made clear frequently, as he did in Cannes at the G20, that he believes a balanced approach towards fiscal consolidation -- that includes both fiscal consolidation and efforts to continue to boost the recovery is the right approach for Europe," he said.

"He has taken approach here - an approach here in the United States that is -- has been aimed at growing the economy and creating jobs in the short term as well as dealing with our deficits and debt challenges in the medium and long terms," Carney said.

"That's an approach that he thinks ensures that the recovery continues but also gets our fiscal house in order," he added.

PTI