The US vice-president Joe Biden has begun a visit to Europe by warning of “new threats” facing the continent.
He received a warm welcome to the European Parliament, to deliver the first speech by a top US leader for 25 years.
Earlier he said in a newspaper article that no European country was sheltered from rogue states and the constant terrorist threat.
Biden told MEPs that Iran’s actions risked starting a new nuclear arms race in the Middle East, adding that the US and Europe needed each other more than ever.
The Vice-President said that the Obama-Biden administration strongly supported a vibrant European Union: “we believe that it is absolutely essential to American prosperity and long term security. So have no doubt about that!”
Biden also said he understood European concerns over transfers of EU personal data to the US via the Brussels-based Swift company, as part of anti-terrorism measures.
Earlier this year MEPs blocked an agreement over its use. Biden said the programme was essential for US security.