FW: Foreign pool : POTUS meeting with Nordic leaders#state dinning room# 2

From: Nadia Bilbassy [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2016 1:20 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. N. EOP/WHO ; Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO ; xxx@email.com; Gabriel, Brian A. EOP/WHO
Subject: Foreign pool : POTUS meeting with Nordic leaders#state dinning room# 2

Pool entered the Sate Dinning Room  while the President and Nordic head of states were all sitting on a U shaped table . Next to POTUS sat the Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr LARS Lokke Rasmussen and his Foreign Minister. On POTUS left sat Secretary John Kerry and Susan Rice .

The rest of the four leaders sat opposite each side of the U shaped table against the background of Nordic flags . Each country has two representatives ; the head of state and I assume the foreign minister of each country  ( not sure). In total they were 10 in addition to POTUS , Kerry and Rice on the table .

The rest of their respective teams sat behind them on chairs . The main table was covered with white cloths and i believe white flowers .

POTUS welcomed them again , he talked about "so much agreement " on all issues . The focus was on security cooperation ; esp on the fight against ISIS , the need to deliver humanitarian assistance to the refugees , cooperation on counter terrorism , he pointed that Denmark is part of the coaltion in Afghanistan . He also stressed the need on working out a political solution to end the Syrian crisis .

He praised Nordic countries collective contribution to the Syrian refugees in Jordan and elsewhere which he said all together mount a lot .

POTUS also mentioned the Refugee Summit which will take place in NY in September during the annual UNGA meeting, Prime Minister of Sweden said that he will be participating and emphasized its importance .

POTUS talked about the cooperation Between NATO and EU esp when it comes to "Russian Aggressive military activities "and  the importance of keeping the sanctions on and supporting Ukraine .

He also talked about the importance of implementing the Paris agreement on climate change, and talked about the Arctic Science Fair  which will be held at the White House. He also mentioned the importance of foreign aid and assistance to poor counties to alleviate poverty  .

PM of Sweden also spoke tracing back the heritage of 11 million Americans to Scandinavia .

He talked about " global response to common challenges".

He stood with the US to counter Russian activities in the Baltic.

He called on a two state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict .

He also praised the US efforts on leading a summit on refugees in the fall stressing the fact that the US leadership on global issues are vital .

The Swedish PM echoed POTUS position on climate change and clean energy and the efforts required to reduce emissions .

The last part of his statement was about trade , creating job opportunities , women in the work force , gender equality , saying that trade needs to be fair not just free.

"Seeing the US advances on all these issues will creat a ripple effect."

Few reporters shouted questions but pool was ushered out .

We are awaiting the daily briefing .

Nadia Bilbassy -Charters

Bureau Chief

Alarabiya Washington

xxx-xxx-xxxx

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