Obama Warns of Loss of Influence If Britain Leaves EU

News ID: 808366 Service: Other Media
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TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Barack Obama has warned Britain that it would lose influence if it left the European Union and said UK membership gave America “much greater confidence”.

The US president, in an interview with the BBC broadcast on Thursday, said the union made the world “safer and more prosperous”, Finacial Times reported.

“(Having the UK in the European Union) gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union and is part of the cornerstone of institutions built after [the] Second World War that has made the world safer and more prosperous," Obama said.

Britain’s future in the EU will be put to UK voters in a referendum within the next two years that will come after technically complex and politically fraught efforts to amend the EU treaty.

Mr. Obama’s view, which he has expressed before, is in keeping with that of Mr. Cameron, who plans to lead the referendum campaign for Britain to remain in the EU after he renegotiates the treaty.

In the BBC interview just before he departed for a trip to Africa, Mr Obama called Britain the “best partner” for the US because of the willingness the two nations share to “project power beyond our immediate self-interests to make this a more orderly, safer world”.

He also called Mr. Cameron an “outstanding partner” on a “whole host of security issues”, including the 60-country coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with air strikes.

Mr. Obama praised Mr. Cameron’s commitment to keep meeting the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of the budget on defense. Washington had recently voiced concerns about the UK’s commitment to military spending.

He also called for Britain’s help in stopping the flow of foreign fighters into Syria.

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