CHICAGO (Reuters) – NATO leaders sealed a landmark agreement on Monday to hand control of Afghanistan over to its own security forces by the middle of next year, putting the Western alliance on an “irreversible” path out of an unpopular, decade-long war.
A NATO summit in Chicago formally committed to a U.S.-backed strategy that calls for a gradual exit of foreign combat troops by the end of 2014 but left major questions unanswered about how to prevent a slide into chaos and a Taliban resurgence after the allies are gone.
WASHINGTON, May 18 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David
Cameron and new French President Francois Hollande clashed on
Friday over the need for a financial transactions tax to fund
growth but played down other differences over how to respond to
the euro zone debt crisis.
Both leaders said after a first 35-minute meeting at the
British ambassador’s residence in Washington that they backed
measures to cut deficits and spur growth in Europe, glossing
over differences between Hollande’s pro-growth stance and
Cameron’s emphasis on reducing debt.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama pressed Europe on Friday to shift toward a more pro-growth policy and away from austerity to tackle a crisis that threatens to push Greece out of the euro zone and send economic shockwaves worldwide.
Setting the tone for a weekend G8 summit, Obama made clear he was aligning himself with the new French president’s drive for more economic stimulus in the recession-plagued euro zone instead of emphasizing belt-tightening programs spearheaded by Germany.
WASHINGTON, May 17 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David
Cameron will tell leaders of some of the world’s biggest
economies on Friday that they must work together to stop the
economic crisis afflicting the euro zone from spreading
Cameron’s message to other Group of Eight leaders, who begin
a summit on Friday at the U.S. presidential retreat of Camp
David, Maryland, would be that “we need to work together to
protect ourselves against global contagion from the economic
crisis and to promote global trade,” an aide to Cameron said.
LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday he would hold talks with new French President Francois Hollande before an international summit this week, confident they would find “common ground” on how to tackle Europe’s economic crisis.
Like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Cameron has backed tough austerity policies to tackle Europe’s debt and deficit problems while the newly-elected Hollande has vowed to shift the focus to growth.
LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense spending cuts are putting an increasing strain on relations between the United States and its European allies in NATO, sharpening transatlantic battles over issues ranging from financing Afghan security forces to missile defense.
European governments have slashed defense budgets in response to the economic crisis. Coupled with U.S. plans to cut $487 billion of its own projected defense spending over the next decade and shift its focus toward Asia, this will limit NATO’s capabilities and force it to scale back its ambitions.
China is beset by a moral crisis, widespread corruption and lawlessness, leading millions of Chinese to seek solace in Buddhism, Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama, said on Monday.
LONDON (Reuters) – China is beset by a moral crisis, widespread corruption and lawlessness, leading millions of Chinese to seek solace in Buddhism, Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama, said on Monday.
The Dalai Lama was in London to receive the $1.7 million Templeton prize for his work affirming the spiritual dimension of life.
LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s military chief of staff said on Thursday that Moscow could carry out pre-emptive strikes on future NATO missile defense installations in Europe to protect its security – a stark warning against a system the Kremlin sees as a threat.
General Nikolai Makarov’s remark underlined Russian opposition to an anti-missile shield the United States and NATO are developing, an issue that will continue to strain relations after Vladimir Putin starts a six-year presidential term on Monday.
LONDON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – NATO is hopeful of reaching a deal with Russia on missile defense despite opposition from the Kremlin to the alliance’s plans for a missile shield, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday.
However a conference in Moscow also on Thursday led to no agreement on the issue, with Russia using computer modeling to show how it believed the shield could threaten its security.