President Obama highlighted his European roots in an interview with Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, pointing out that the United States was firmly committed to the security of Europe.
During the interview, Obama was asked if his understanding of Europe was different since he lived in Indonesia as a boy and talked about pivoting his attention to Asia.
"We're linked by heritage and history, with millions of Americans tracing their roots to Europe, including me," Obama said. "Yes, I was born in Hawaii and spent part of my youth in Indonesia. But it's also true that through my mother I can trace my ancestry to Europe -- to Ireland and Great Britain."
A translation of the interview was provided to the Washington Examiner by the White House.
Obama explained that the relationship with Europe had "evolved" since the Iron Curtain fell more than 20 years ago, encouraging European companies to share the responsibility of protecting their interests.
"As we have told our European allies many times, we want to see more European nations meeting their commitments when it comes to defense spending," he said. "In the United States, after two wars, we are moving toward a leaner military."