Obama meets Portuguese President

10th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday discussed Iran and unrest in Syria and the Middle East with President Anibal Cavaco Silva of Portugal, the country that currently chairs the UN Security Council.

In a joint statement issued after the short Oval Office meeting, the leaders said they had also talked about the world economic and financial situation.

"The United States underscored its full support for Portugals implementation of its reform program backed by the IMF and the EU," the statement said.

"We also agreed to continue our close cooperation within the UN Security Council, where Portugal currently serves as Council President, on issues of mutual concern, such as Syria, Libya, Middle East peace, and Iran."

Washington has tried without success so far to pass UN Security Council sanctions against the government of Bashar al-Assad for his crackdown on Syrian pro-democracy protesters.

On Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a new report stating that Iran had worked on nuclear weapons, further raising the heat in the West's showdown with Tehran.

The United States says it wants tighten the international sanctions regime against Iran, but Security Council permanent members Russia and China have expressed concerns about the decision to publish the IAEA report.

© 2011 AFP

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