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Mar 20, 2013

Obama arrives in Israel amid low expectations

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – President Barack Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday without any new peace initiative to offer disillusioned Palestinians and facing deep Israeli doubts over his pledge to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.

Making his first official visit here as president, Obama hopes to use the trip to reset his often fraught relations with both the Israelis and Palestinians in a choreographed three-day stay that is high on symbolism but low on expectations.

Mar 18, 2013

Obama tells Iranians now is the time to settle nuclear dispute

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama insisted on Monday that “now is the time” for Iran to take meaningful steps to resolve its nuclear standoff with the West as he issued a direct appeal to the Iranian people on the eve of his first official trip to Israel.

Obama used the occasion of Iran’s new year celebration, as he has in the past, to try to ratchet up pressure on Tehran. But this time he focused squarely on its disputed nuclear program, which is expected to be high on the agenda when he visits Israel, Iran’s arch-foe.

Mar 14, 2013

Obama says Iran more than a year away from nuclear weapon

JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told Israelis Iran is still more than year away from developing a nuclear weapon and sought to reassure them that military force remains a U.S. option if sanctions and diplomacy fail to thwart its nuclear ambitions.

In an interview with Israeli television broadcast on Thursday, just six days before his visit to the country, Obama appeared to send a message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the need for patience with Washington’s Iran strategy while also showing U.S. resolve to confront Tehran if necessary.

Mar 14, 2013

Obama tries new tack with Israel, appealing to wary public

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – After nearly four years of often testy relations with Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama is about to try a different tack – going over the head of Israel’s prime minister and appealing directly to the Israeli people.

Obama’s first presidential visit to Israel next week, while certainly including meetings with Netanyahu, will focus heavily on resetting his relationship with the country’s wary public as he seeks to reassure them he is committed to their security and has their interests at heart.

Mar 14, 2013

Analysis: Obama tries new tack with Israel, reaching out to wary public

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – After nearly four years of often testy relations with Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama is about to try a different tack – going over the head of Israel’s prime minister and appealing directly to the Israeli people.

Obama’s first presidential visit to Israel next week, while certainly including meetings with Netanyahu, will focus heavily on resetting his relationship with the country’s wary public as he seeks to reassure them he is committed to their security and has their interests at heart.

Mar 8, 2013

Obama meets American Jewish leaders ahead of Israel trip

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama hosted leaders of major American Jewish organizations at the White House on Thursday as he sought to smooth the way for his first presidential visit to Israel later this month.

The meeting was a chance for Obama to preview his agenda for the trip, which aides have said will include a heavy emphasis on efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program as well as discussion of deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace moves and Syria’s civil war.

Mar 6, 2013

Despite new hopes, U.S. treads cautiously after death of Venezuela’s Chavez

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – While the death of Venezuela’s stridently anti-American President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday raised hopes in Washington for better U.S.-Venezuela relations, the Obama administration reacted cautiously as it weighed the prospects for a diplomatic thaw.

President Barack Obama quickly reached out to Venezuelans, expressing an interest in a “constructive relationship” in the post-Chavez era. But analysts said it would be hard to make tangible progress when deep political uncertainty risks destabilizing the South American oil-producing nation.

Mar 4, 2013

Netanyahu: “Credible military threat” needed to stop Iran nuclear drive

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday that Iran was getting closer to being able to build a nuclear bomb despite sanctions and diplomacy and said a “clear and credible military threat” was needed to halt Tehran’s program.

Speaking via satellite link from Jerusalem, Netanyahu used an address to an influential U.S. pro-Israel lobbying group to underscore Israeli impatience with Washington’s strategy on Iran, a message that could foreshadow his talks with President Barack Obama on a Middle East visit later this month.

Mar 4, 2013

“Credible military threat” needed to stop Iran nuclear drive – Netanyahu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday that Iran was getting closer to being able to build a nuclear bomb despite sanctions and diplomacy and said a “clear and credible military threat” was needed to halt Tehran’s program.

Speaking via satellite link from Jerusalem, Netanyahu used an address to an influential U.S. pro-Israel lobbying group to underscore Israeli impatience with Washington’s strategy on Iran, a message that could foreshadow his talks with President Barack Obama on a Middle East visit later this month.

Mar 3, 2013

Spending cut showdown threatens Obama’s second-term agenda

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Just hours after across-the-board spending cuts officially took effect, President Barack Obama pressed Congress on Saturday to work with him on a compromise to halt a fiscal crisis that threatens the economy and his broader domestic policy agenda.

The failure by Obama and Republicans to agree to halt the $85 billion “sequester” cuts virtually guaranteed that fiscal issues would remain center stage in Washington for weeks, crowding out Obama’s proposals to reform immigration, tighten gun laws and raise the minimum wage.

    • 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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