WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama said Friday that he and British Prime Minister David Cameron are ‘indispensable’ partners in facing the challenges of terrorism, the Iranian nuclear programme, Ebola, the global economy, and Russian actions in Ukraine.

At a press conference with Obama, Cameron said U.S-British goals boil down to one word: ‘Security,’ both from economic problems and the threat of violence. ‘In recent weeks we’ve seen appalling attacks in Paris, in Peshawar, in Nigeria,’ Cameron said. ‘The world is sickened by this terrorism, so we will not be standing alone in this fight.’ After an Oval Office meeting, both Obama and Cameron again condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and told reporters they will work with France and other nations to roll back extremist groups.

‘We will continue to do everything in our power to help France seek the justice that is needed, and that all our countries are working together seamlessly to prevent attacks and to defeat these terrorist networks,’ Obama told reporters. The fight includes battles against the lure of Islamic extremism, the two leaders said. Obama said the US has an advantage over Europe because ‘our Muslim populations .. feel themselves to Americans’ as well.’This incredible process of immigration and assimilation that is part of our tradition — that is probably our greatest strength,’ Obama said, and something Europe needs to address.

Cameron seemed to agree, saying that it has been ‘a mistake in the past when some countries had treated different groups and different religious groups as sort of separate blocs, rather than trying to build a strong common home together.’

On another security issue, Obama also vowed to veto any congressional bill that puts new sanctions on Iran, saying they would hurt ongoing negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear programme. Those talks are designed to reduce existing sanctions on Iran if it agrees to forgo the means to make nuclear weapons, he said.

The collapse of nuclear talks could risk some sort of a military confrontation with Iran, Obama said, and ‘Congress needs to show patience.’ Obama said he would only agree to a ‘good deal’ with Iran, and would walk away from a bad one. ‘We have shown that we are credibly trying to solve this problem and avert some sort of military showdown,’ Obama said. Cameron said he couldn’t tell the US Congress what to do, but agreed with Obama that new sanctions could push Iran from the negotiating table.

Counter-terrorism, cybersecurity and the global economy dominated a full agenda during the earlier meeting between Obama and Cameron. The leaders discussed ‘a range of issues including economic growth, international trade, cybersecurity, Iran, ISIL (the Islamic State), counterterrorism, Ebola and Russia’s actions in Ukraine,’ said a White House statement.

The summit took place a week after terrorist attacks in Paris, and amid days of major security crackdowns by law enforcement throughout Europe. As part of the terrorism discussion, Cameron asked Obama to support the idea of getting technology companies to give law enforcement access to the contents of encrypted messages. This became an issue in the United Kingdom after officials learned that the killer of a British soldier discussed his plans online. Obama did not endorse Cameron’s proposal, and said that the US and allies are looking at ways to balance the needs of security and privacy when it comes to social media and other Internet communications.’How to square the circle in these issues is difficult,’ Obama said.

Privacy advocates in the United Kingdom and the United States have criticized Cameron’s plan. The leaders also discussed the ongoing battle against the so-called Islamic State militant movement, as well as instability in Iraq and Syria.Efforts to stimulate global economic growth also made the Obama-Cameron agenda, as did a long-pending trade deal between the United States and European Union. So did joint efforts to defeat the Ebola virus at its source in West Africa.

The economic discussion included plans to extend international sanctions on Russia for its intervention in neighbouring Ukraine. In an op-ed this week for The Times of London, Obama and Cameron wrote that recent events in France are a reminder that ‘terrorism, conflict and instability’ threaten free people everywhere. They also said that ‘security and prosperity go hand in hand’ in both of their nations.’By confronting the terrorists who threaten us, standing together against Russia’s aggressive acts and continuing our efforts to advance our economic growth, we will continue to advance the security.’ Moreover, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday pushed back against calls for further sanctions on Iran now over its nuclear program, saying such action could harm ongoing negotiations.

In a joint news conference, Obama and Cameron urged US lawmakers to exercise patience and hold off on any legislation calling for further sanctions. ‘There is no good argument for us to try to undercut, undermine the negotiations until they’ve played themselves out,’ Obama told reporters. ‘Congress needs to show patience,’ he added.

US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron warned US lawmakers on Friday not to trigger new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, saying such a move would upset diplomatic talks and potentially lead to war. In a joint news conference at the White House, Obama and Cameron urged members of Congress to be patient and hold off on any legislation calling for further sanctions now.

‘There is no good argument for us to try to undercut, undermine the negotiations until they’ve played themselves out,’ Obama told reporters. ‘Congress needs to show patience,’ he added. ‘My main message to Congress is ‘Just hold your fire.’‘ Obama said he told Democratic lawmakers he would veto a bill calling for more sanctions if it landed on his desk. The joint push with Cameron, who said he had called US senators personally about the issue, represented the strongest effort yet by the White House to prevent lawmakers from both parties from seeking to force additional penalties on Tehran.

Obama said Iran could use such sanctions as an excuse to abandon talks and accuse Washington of blowing up the deal and acting in bad faith. ‘There would be some sympathy to that view around the world, which means that the sanctions that we have in place now would potentially fray,’ Obama said. ‘Congress should be aware that if this diplomatic solution fails, then the risks and likelihood that this ends up being at some point a military confrontation is heightened. And Congress will have to own that as well.’ US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian counterpart Mohammad Jawad Zarif met in Paris on Friday to try to iron out disagreements over Iran’s nuclear programme.