“As NATO allies, the United States and Italy are going to uphold our solemn obligation to the security of our allies,” President Obama (above left) said at a March 27 joint press briefing in Rome with Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Obama thanked the government of Italy for its ongoing commitment to NATO. “Italian forces have served admirably in Afghanistan, where Italy is one of our largest contributors to the coalition, [and] in Kosovo, where Italians command the NATO force,” Obama said. He also noted that Italy contributes a large number of peacekeepers to the U.N. force in Lebanon.
In addition, at the recently concluded Nuclear Security Summit, Italy agreed to the complete removal of its excess highly enriched uranium so it can be eliminated.
“This was a critical step in our work to make sure that dangerous materials don't fall into the hands of terrorists, and it’s one more example of Italian leadership across the board,” Obama said.
The president said he and Renzi had extensive discussions about events in Ukraine.
“We continue to see international unity in the face of a violation of international law and Ukraine's territorial integrity,” Obama said, adding that: “We are continually hopeful that Russia walks through the door of diplomacy and works with all of us to try to resolve this issue in a peaceful way. And we will continue to coordinate closely with Italy and our other European partners throughout this crisis.”