Obama said the U.S. will “do what’s necessary to protect our people” in the wake of the deadly Istanbul airport attack. “I’m confident that we can and we will defeat those who offer only death and destruction, and we will always remember, even as there are those who are trying to divide us, that we are stronger when we come together and work toward a better world together,” he said while also offering prayers to the citizens of Turkey. He also pledged U.S. assistance to the NATO ally.
Obama said the gun-and-bomb attacks that killed 41 people at Ataturk Airport on Tuesday shows how little these “vicious organizations” have to offer.
“We know this is part of our broader shared fight against terrorist networks,” said Obama.
Turkish officials have blamed the attack on the Islamic State group.
Obama also offered his condolences to the Turkish people in a phone call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the flight to Canada.
The three are there to spell out how their nations will work together to curb global warming.
The three leaders said in a joint statement that they’ll strive to use renewable sources of energy to generate 50 percent of North America’s electrical power by 2025.
That’s a significant leap from last year’s 37 percent.
They’re pledging to accelerate cross-border transmission projects, strengthen energy efficiency standards, and emphasize more efficient products and cleaner vehicles in government purchases.
They say North America has the “capacity, resources and the moral imperative” to build on that agreement.
“We’re going to do more to speak with one, united North American voice on the world stage,” said Obama.
“By the end of this year, we’ll have a single-trusted traveler program for all three of our countries which will make it easier to travel – while at the same time improving security,” said Obama, saying, “We’re bringing more advanced technologies and automation to our border crossings which will reduce wait times.”
Other topics included immigration and the trans-Pacific trade deal.
Obama said the character of the U.S. has been shaped by Mexican Americans who have influenced its culture, politics and business.
He saidit’s useful to highlight issues both countries are working on at a time of heated U.S. campaign trail rhetoric about Mexicans.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he’ll build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration and send Mexico the bill. Trump also has called for deporting millions of immigrants living illegally in the U.S.
Obama said such talk ignores the enormous contributions by Mexican Americans to the U.S.
Obama also said he’ll keep working for a trans-Pacific trade deal that is stuck in the U.S. Congress and opposed by both of the candidates who are vying to succeed him.
He said the goal in an integrated global economy is not for countries to shut themselves off from the world. Instead, he said the goal is to work together to raise standards around the world for workers and the environment.
He said that’s exactly what the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement does.
Obama said the pact is the right thing to do and “we’re going to keep working for it.”
The presumptive Republican and Democratic presidential nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, both oppose the TPP.