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 endorsed 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) – New French President Francois
Hollande told President Barack Obama on Friday that he will
stick by his pledge to withdraw France’s troops from Afghanistan
at year’s end, a note of discord in an otherwise convivial first
meeting between the two leaders.
“I reminded President Obama that I made a promise to the
French people to the effect that our combat troops would be
withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2012,” Hollande said
after Oval Office talks with Obama.
WASHINGTON, May 18 (Reuters) – U.S. 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
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
BAGRAM AIRBASE, Afghanistan (Reuters) – President Barack Obama marked the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death with a speedy trip to Afghanistan, signing a strategic pact with Kabul on Wednesday and delivering an election-year message to Americans that the war is winding down.
Shortly after arriving under the cover of darkness, Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed a strategic partnership agreement at the Afghan leader’s palace that sets out a long-term U.S. role in Afghanistan, including aid and advisers.
KABUL (Reuters) – President Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan on Tuesday to sign an agreement charting future relations with the country, making the secret trip on the first anniversary of the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Obama plans to deliver a televised address to Americans later on Tuesday.
The U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement will set conditions for a U.S. presence there after a 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of most NATO combat forces.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Sunday the Secret Service would fully investigate reports that agents assigned to protect him in Colombia were caught with prostitutes, saying he would be angry if the allegations proved true.
Obama, who spent three days in the South American country attending the Summit of the Americas, said he expected the agents and military personnel in his entourage to behave with “the utmost dignity and probity” while overseas.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said there would be more sanctions imposed on Iran if there is no breakthrough in nuclear talks with global powers in the coming months, responding to Israeli accusations that Tehran has been given a “freebie.”
At a news conference in Cartagena, Colombia, where he was attending the Summit of the Americas, Obama said negotiations between Iran and six world powers that resumed on Saturday would not stretch on indefinitely and would require Iran to act.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Reuters) – A senior White House aide said on Saturday that China had made some progress toward easing restrictions on its currency but stressed the United States wanted to see more actions taken.
At a briefing with reporters in Colombia, where President Barack Obama is attending a summit with Latin American leaders, White House adviser Ben Rhodes said the Obama administration was closely reviewing Beijing’s announcement that it was doubling the size of its yuan’s trading band against the dollar.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, taking his re-election campaign south of the U.S. border, promised on Saturday to pursue long-promised immigration reform early in a second term and slammed his White House rival Mitt Romney’s stance on the issue as “troublesome.”
Obama is spending the weekend in Cartagena, Colombia, meeting with Latin American political and business leaders in a bid to strengthen economic ties with the region and convince Hispanic voters back home he cares about the region.
CARTAGENA (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama attacked Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney on Saturday over his stance on illegal immigrants and promised to pursue broad immigration reform if he wins another term.
On a three-day visit to Colombia for a summit with Latin American leaders, Obama is hoping to court Hispanic voters back home whose support could be crucial to him in the November 6 election.