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Obama vows to cooperate with Congress on issues

Washington, Jan 14 (IANS) US President Barack Obama Tuesday met for the first time with leaders of the country’s 114th Congress, vowing to find common ground with the Republican-controlled Congress on economic and national security issues including trade, cybersecurity as well as the legal basis for attacks against Islamic State (IS).

Obama and Congress leaders discussed a wide range of issues during the meeting, and the president highlighted areas where Republicans and Democrats can work together to protect national security and continue the progress in the economy, Xinhua reported citing White House statement.

Obama underscored that there are priorities to work together to pass legislation to combat cyber security threats, the statement said. He also emphasised the importance of diplomatic efforts aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, reiterating his strong opposition to additional sanctions legislation.

In addition, Obama said both parties should cooperate on trade issues, simplifying the tax code and streamlining government.

During the meeting, which was attended by 19 Republican and Democratic lawmakers and Vice President Joe Biden, Republicans echoed Obama’s suggestion that bipartisan areas of cooperation may be possible, including on further strategy of US military against IS forces.

But they also drew a sharp line with Obama on issues such as immigration reform, healthcare act and energy policy, suggesting that some policy areas lie beyond bipartisan collaboration.

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