NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Speaking at the close of a two-day NATO summit in Wales, President Barack Obama commented Friday on the situations in Ukraine and Iraq.
Obama said he’s skeptical that pro-Russian separatists and Russia’s government will abide by a cease-fire reached Friday.
The president added that he’s hopeful about the agreement between Ukraine’s government and pro-Russian rebels, but based on past experiences he’s not sure separatists will follow through and that Russia will stop violating Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Obama is also crediting economic sanctions levied by the U.S and the European Union with bringing Russia to the table.
The president spoke hours after NATO leaders agreed to form a new rapid response force to counter the threat of Russian aggression.
Obama also said NATO members unanimously agree on the need for immediate action against Islamic State militants because they pose a threat to members of the alliance.
The president said the members agree that the Islamic State is a “savage organization” that must ultimately be destroyed.
“We are going to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL, the same way we went after al Qaeda,” Obama said.
The president has been pressing his counterparts to join a coalition of nations that could go after the Islamic State group using military power, diplomatic pressure and economic penalties.
He says the international coalition needs to go beyond Western countries and include Sunni majority states to reject the kind of nihilism that the Islamic State projects.
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