President Barack Obama called Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti to discuss the economic situation in Europe and to express his concern about Syria, according to a White House statement.
“Their conversation follows recent statements by European officials regarding their commitment to preserve the euro,” the statement said. “The president has been in regular contact with Europe’s leaders on the state of the European economy, and today he reiterated his support for decisive action to resolve the crisis.”
Earlier today, Monti and French President Francois Hollande issued a joint statement that they will do everything to protect the “integrity” of the euro zone. After a working lunch in Paris, the two European leaders said stability mechanisms agreed to at a June 29 summit of European leaders should be made operational as soon as possible.
Last night, Obama used similar language and said that European leaders can forestall dissolution of the euro by taking prompt, “decisive steps” to solve their debt crisis.
“I don’t think ultimately that the Europeans will let the euro unravel, but they are going to have to take some decisive steps,” Obama told a $40,000-per-plate fundraiser in New York City. “And I am spending an enormous amount of time, trying to work with them. The sooner that they take some decisive action, the better off we are going to be.”
In his call to Monti, Obama also “expressed his concerns about Syria and emphasized the need for close cooperation between the U.S. and our European allies in pressuring the Assad regime and supporting the Syrian people,” the White House statement said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at email@example.com