WASHINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is
expected to announce his nominees for secretaries of state and
defense in the next two weeks, with former Republican senator
Chuck Hagel on the short list of potential choices to head the
Pentagon, senior administration officials said on Tuesday.
Hagel, whose appointment would give Obama’s reshuffled
second-term cabinet a bipartisan cast, met the Democratic
president at the White House this week to discuss a post on his
national security team. But there was no sign Obama had decided
on the key nominations he will put forth.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Monday ratcheted up criticism of Israel over plans to expand Jewish settlement building on occupied land, urging it to reconsider despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to back down.
The Obama administration’s tougher-than-usual words for close ally Israel came after five European governments summoned Israeli ambassadors in their capitals to express concern over the new settlement projects. But Washington stopped short of threatening any concrete measures against the Jewish state.
WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) – The Obama administration
sought to counter Republican charges on Friday that President
Barack Obama’s plan to avoid a year-end “fiscal cliff” is light
on spending cuts and too reliant on tax increases.
Administration officials said the overall plan, offered to
Republicans on Thursday and quickly rejected by them, would
achieve $4.5 trillion in savings to the government. This
includes around $1 trillion in cuts already enacted into law and
would set up an “expedited process” to spirit through Congress
some of the most comprehensive legislation in decades.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will host Mitt Romney for a private lunch at the White House on Thursday, their first meeting since Obama defeated him in this month’s presidential election.
The encounter follows Obama’s promise, in the aftermath of the bitterly fought November 6 election, to consult the former Republican governor of Massachusetts by the end of the year. It also comes amid Obama’s efforts to work out with congressional leaders a way to avoid a looming “fiscal cliff” that could push the U.S. economy back into recession.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Mexican President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto on Tuesday backed President Barack Obama’s planned push for U.S. immigration reform, pledged cooperation on border security and promised efforts to reduce violence in his own country.
Three weeks after winning re-election, Obama held White House talks with Pena Nieto, who is due to take office on Saturday, to begin forging a personal bond and discuss shared challenges that have sometimes created fraught relations between their countries.
PHNOM PENH, Nov 20 (Reuters) – It may have sounded good on
paper: Win re-election, fly to Asia, soak up the adulation of
fellow world leaders, then go home with at least a few tangible
rewards to show for a legacy-shaping U.S. strategic shift
But U.S. President Barack Obama’s first post-election trip
abroad did not work out exactly according to plan.
PHNOM PENH, Nov 20 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
on Tuesday dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the
Middle East for urgent talks with Israeli, Palestinian and
Egyptian leaders in his most decisive move yet to try to halt
the Gaza crisis.
Clinton left an Asian summit in Cambodia’s capital, which
she was attending with Obama, and headed for Israel to meet
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first round of a new
U.S. diplomatic initiative.
YANGON (Reuters) – It won’t be mistaken for a Nixon-goes-to-China kind of moment.
But President Barack Obama’s visit to Myanmar on Monday sometimes felt like a return to an earlier era of presidential diplomacy – and his aides were determined to make sure that no one missed its historic significance.
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – President Barack Obama urged Cambodian leader Hun Sen on Monday to hold fair elections and release political prisoners as he took a firm line on human rights abuses that activists say have increased in recent years in the Southeast Asian country.
Fresh from a visit to Myanmar, where many freedoms have blossomed in the country’s dramatic return to democracy, Obama told Hun Sen that Cambodia’s record on human rights would be an impediment to deeper ties with the United States.
YANGON (Reuters) – Barack Obama has become the first serving U.S. president to visit Myanmar, arriving on Monday for a trip that will attempt to strike a balance between praising the government’s progress in shaking off military rule and pressing it for further reforms.
His plane landed in the former capital Yangon, where he will meet President Thein Sein, a former junta member who has spearheaded reforms since taking office in March 2011, and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who led the struggle against military rule and, like Obama, is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She is now a lawmaker.