: Obama, NATO chief discuss key security challenges at White House meeting

14:24 Apr. 5, 2016

Obama, NATO chief discuss key security challenges at White House meeting

President Barack Obama shakes hands with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, April 4, 2016. (AP Photo)

Islamic State, Libya and Europe refugee crisis high on agenda - NATO press service

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the Alliance's response to key security challenges at the White House in Washington D.C. and preparations for the Warsaw Summit in July, NATO press service reports. 

Stoltenberg stressed that "NATO is as important as ever, because NATO has been able to adapt to a more dangerous world." He thanked President Obama for his personal leadership and his commitment to transatlantic security.

Read also NATO plans to increase its presence in east in response to Russia

The two leaders discussed the common fight against terrorism. "Terrorism affects us all, from Brussels to San Bernardino," Stoltenberg said, noting that all NATO Allies contribute to the U.S.-led effort to degrade and destroy ISIL, and that NATO has just started training Iraqi officers. They also discussed how NATO can increase its support to other countries in the region, including Libya. ‎

Western governments have been concerned that ISIL is expanding in Libya as the U.S.-led coalition squeezes the militants' territory in Syria and Iraq.

On Afghanistan, NATO and the United States are working to help the government and train its security forces to push back against the Taliban, a topic Obama said would be further discussed at a NATO summit in Warsaw in July.

Obama and Stoltenberg said they also discussed support NATO can provide to prevent deaths of refugees making the dangerous journey to flee Syria for Turkey and Greece.

With reporting from Reuters.

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