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Obama urges European leaders to lift defence budgets


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Obama urges European leaders to lift defence budgets

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Barack Obama has called on Europe to boost defence spending to help fight Islamic State militants and other security threats.

The US president made his appeal before meeting world leaders of the so-called G5.

Speaking in Germany at the world’s largest industrial technology fair, Obama praised the unity that had brought peace to the continent but he also warned that Europe must guard against complacency.

“Today more than ever a strong united Europe remains, as Adenauer said, a necessity for all of us. It’s a necessity for the United States because Europe’s security and prosperity is inherently indivisible from our own,” said Obama. “We can’t cut ourselves off from you. A strong united Europe is a necessity for the world because an integrated Europe remains vital to our international order.”

Obama went on to say that the West also needs to maintain sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis until Moscow fully implements the so-called Minsk peace agreement.

Germany is the last stop on a six-day foreign tour where Obama has sought to short up US alliances he considers crucial, not only for the economy but also to defeat Islamic State militants and counter Russian intervention in Syria and Ukraine.

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