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Obama talks terrorism, migrant crisis with Spanish king during White House visit

By
Doug G. Ware
U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands Tuesday after a bilateral meeting with King Felipe VI of Spain in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. Pool Photo by Dennis Brack/UPI
U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands Tuesday after a bilateral meeting with King Felipe VI of Spain in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. Pool Photo by Dennis Brack/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama welcomed King Felipe VI of Spain on Tuesday to the White House, where the pair discussed the importance of international cooperation.

Obama and the king addressed the fight against the Islamic State as well as the growing migrant crisis in Europe -- which has already seen hundreds of thousands escape their homeland for the West.

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"Spain has worked hard to deal with this issue in the past with North African migrants that oftentimes are engaged in very dangerous travels, and human trafficking that takes place," Obama said. "Obviously, that's gotten worse over the last several months."

Obama also stressed the importance of cooperation, particularly as the Spanish territory of Catalonia is set to vote in elections later this month.

"As a matter of foreign policy, we are deeply committed to maintaining a relationship with a strong and unified Spain," Obama said.

The commander-in-chief also told King Felipe he would like to visit the country sometime before he leaves office in 2017.

"We welcome you with open arms," Felipe replied.

First lady Michelle Obama took the queen on a tour of the White House grounds and talked over tea.

It was the royal couple's first visit to the United States since assuming the throne. After leaving Washington, they were scheduled to visit South Florida.

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