Following their talks the two presidents made statements for the press.
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President OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BARACK OBAMA: Well, I want to welcome my friend, Dmitry Medvedev, to my birthplace, Honolulu, Hawaii. My understanding is that he’s been spotted in a Hawaiian shirt walking and enjoying the good weather. And so I don’t know if anybody got pictures of this, but I’m glad that he’s enjoying himself so far.
President Medvedev and I have I think successfully established the reset of US- Russia relationships – the US–Russian relationship over the last several years. And it has borne concrete fruit in the form of the New START Treaty, the 123 Agreement, the work that we did together imposing sanctions on Iran, and most recently, the efforts that we’ve made on Russia’s WTO accession.
Today, we had a wide-ranging discussion. It focused on a number of security issues where the US and Russia have a significant interest. We discussed Afghanistan and our plan to transition, and the importance all the regional parties assisting the Afghan government in stabilizing the country for the benefit of the Afghan people.
We discussed Iran, and reaffirmed our intention to work to shape a common response so that we can move Iran to follow its international obligations when it comes to its nuclear program.
We discussed a number of world trouble spots, including Syria. And we discussed the importance of APEC and our common interest in assuring global growth and increased opportunity, business investment, commercial ties, and most importantly, job creation in both our countries.
Although it’s not official yet, the invitation has been extended to Russia to join the WTO, as a testament to the hard work of President Medvedev and his team. We believe this is going to be good for the United States, for the world, as well as for Russia, because it will provide increased opportunities for markets in which we can sell goods and products and services, as well as purchase good, products and services without some of the traditional barriers.
And so we very much appreciate the cooperation and partnership that we forged around this issue. We think it’s an example of the importance that both countries place on economic reform and economic growth.
And on my part, on my administration’s part, this is going to be a good time for us to consult closely with Congress about ending the application of Jackson-Vanik to Russia, so that the US businesses can take advantage of Russia’s membership in the WTO, and we can expand commerce and create jobs here in the United States. So those consultations will be taking place in the weeks and months to come.
So, President Medvedev, thank you again for a constructive conversation. But more importantly, thank you for several years of constructive engagement with the United States.
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Aloha!
I would like to thank Barack for his wonderful idea of organising the APEC summit here – in his home state, in Honolulu, Hawaii – because it is beautiful here, and at the same time creates all the necessary conditions for resolving different issues. And we did precisely that today.
Today my friend Barack and I talked not only about the weather, but also about the issues that were just mentioned. And first and foremost, I would like to thank President Obama and his team for their active and interested support of the Russian Federation’s efforts to become a WTO member.
Moreover, we have previously never had such support from an American administration, and that is probably why we’ve been applying to join since 1993. And what was said just now is exactly right: Russia's WTO accession is useful not only for Russia, not only for the United States and some other countries, but also for the entire system of international trade relations.
The global economy and financial system are living through hard times. And the more coordinated our actions are, the smaller trade barriers are, the clearer our instructions to our financial departments are, then the faster we will overcome the recession which unfortunately continues to plague the global economy. And the easier it will be to defeat unemployment, which remains a major problem.
That is why the summit of countries from the Asia-Pacific region is important to help us harmonise our efforts. I am sure that it will take place at the best possible level.
In addition to the problems surrounding Russia’s WTO accession and the need to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment, today we spoke with President Obama and his team about a number of international issues. We discussed the situation in the Middle East, that around Afghanistan and Syria, and we talked about Iran's nuclear programme.
We discussed a range of other issues, including European missile defence. On that topic, we agreed to continue searching for possible solutions with the awareness that our positions remain quite far away from one another.
Over the past few years we have made progress on issues where there had been none for decades. Suffice to recall the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. If we can make the same effort in relation to the problem of European missile defence and others, I am confident we will achieve results.
In turn, I would like to express my full satisfaction with both how my work with President Obama has proceeded and continues to proceed. The main thing that distinguishes and characterises our relationship is trust. Only if you trust each other can you solve complex problems; some problems have been resolved, but there are many more ahead of us.
Thank you, President Obama, for inviting me to participate in this summit.