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Nov 11, 2014

Obama and Putin are odd couple at Beijing summit

BEIJING (Reuters) – A couple of brief encounters between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin during an Asia-Pacific summit in China on Tuesday spoke volumes about the chilly state of relations between the United States and Russia.

With the two men crossing paths twice this week, first in Beijing and later at a G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, there was little chance they could avoid interacting on the international stage – and with the eyes of the world press and fellow leaders upon them.

Nov 10, 2014

Obama urges China to be partner in ensuring world order

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday a successful China was in the interests of the United States and the world but Beijing had to be a partner in underwriting international order, and not undermine it.

Speaking to growing concerns among U.S. and other companies about the Chinese business environment after arriving in Beijing, Obama also urged China to reject the use of cyber theft for commercial gain and create a more level playing field where policy is not used for the benefit of some firms over others.

Nov 10, 2014

U.S., China to extend visa validity to boost trade, tourism

BEIJING (Reuters) – China and the United States have agreed to significantly extend the terms of short-term visas, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday in Beijing, a deal he said would improve trade and business ties between the world’s two largest economies.

Under the deal, which the United States will put into effect on Nov. 12, both countries would extend the terms of multiple entry short-term tourist and business visas to 10 years from one year, the White House said in an accompanying statement. Student visas would be extended to five years from one year.

Nov 10, 2014

Obama says momentum building on ‘historic’ trans-Pacific trade deal

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday he sees momentum building for a Washington-backed free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific, after arriving in Beijing on the first leg of an eight-day Asia tour.

U.S officials had ruled out a major announcement on the ambitious 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Beijing, where Obama will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Nov 6, 2014

Despite election defeat, foreign policy is not ‘game over’ for Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – From marauding jihadists in Iraq to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and beheadings of Americans in Syria, a world in crisis has fanned perceptions of an overwhelmed U.S. president and contributed to a Republican sweep of U.S. midterm elections.

But the slide of public confidence in President Barack Obama and the takeover of U.S. Congress by resurgent Republicans will complicate, though not seriously undermine, U.S. foreign policy that is grappling with wars in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and a more aggressive China in Asia.

Nov 4, 2014

Exclusive: Washington takes hands-off stance on future of Myanmar’s Suu Kyi

WASHINGTON/YANGON (Reuters) – Despite hailing Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as “an icon of democracy,” U.S. President Barack Obama is quietly acquiescing to the government’s decision to bar her from running for the presidency in next year’s election, U.S. officials say.

Obama, who visits Myanmar next week, appears to be balancing his push for democratic reforms with a desire to maintain influence with a government that remains deeply suspicious of Suu Kyi and is led by some of the same former generals who kept her under house arrest for 15 years.

Nov 2, 2014

To salvage his presidency, Obama faces pressure to reboot – but will he?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A reshuffling of President Barack Obama’s staff looks all but certain after Tuesday’s congressional elections, which are likely to bring humbling losses to his Democratic party and could add to pressure on him to reboot his presidency.

Forecasters say that Republicans, who have made Obama’s unpopularity a top issue in the elections, are in a strong position to capture the six seats they need to take over the Senate from Democrats. They are also expected to expand their majority in the House of Representatives.

Oct 15, 2014

U.S. sees some progress in Iran nuclear talks, still aims for November deal

VIENNA, Oct 15 (Reuters) – A senior U.S. official said some
progress was made in high-level nuclear negotiations with Iran
on Wednesday but much work remained to be done, adding the goal
was still to reach a deal by a late November deadline.

The State Department official spoke after about six hours of
talks between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union foreign
policy chief Catherine Ashton in Vienna.

Oct 15, 2014

U.S. says no talk now about extending Iran nuclear negotiations

VIENNA (Reuters) – A senior U.S. official said on Wednesday a deal on Iran’s nuclear program was still possible by late next month and there were no talks now about extending the deadline, after Tehran and Moscow indicated more time may be needed.

However, speaking ahead of a meeting between the top U.S., Iranian and European Union diplomats, the State Department official said there were still some significant gaps in negotiating positions on Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

Oct 14, 2014

U.S., Russia agree to share intelligence on common enemy: Islamic State militants

PARIS (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed on Tuesday to increase intelligence sharing between Moscow and Washington on Islamic State militants, focusing on a common enemy even as deep divisions remained over the crisis in Ukraine.

Speaking in Paris after talks with his Russian counterpart, Kerry said the two world powers, whose relations have hit a post-Cold War low over Russia’s role in Ukraine, had a “major responsibility” to find ways to work together on global issues, despite their stark differences in a number of areas.

    • About Matt

      "White House correspondent who has covered news on four continents for Reuters, from Latin American coups and drug wars to the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles to the Balkans conflict to the second Palestinian Intifada to the Iraq war. He has covered George W. Bush and is now covering President Barack Obama."
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