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Apr 28, 2015

Obama hosts Japan’s Abe, hails alliance as ‘indestructible’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hailing the U.S.-Japan partnership as “indestructible,” President Barack Obama on Tuesday hosted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a visit to showcase deeper defence ties and advance a Pacific trade pact as the two allies seek to counter China’s growing power in the region.

“Today we welcome Prime Minister Abe as we broaden our alliance for our time,” Obama said as he greeted the Japanese leader on the south lawn of the White House with a display of ceremonial pomp. “Ours is an alliance focussed on the future.”

Apr 28, 2015

Japan’s Abe seeks to showcase close U.S. ties on landmark visit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for White House talks on Tuesday to showcase newly strengthened defense ties and advance a long-delayed Pacific trade deal as the two allies seek to counter China’s rising influence in Asia.

But as Abe tries to focus on the future amid the ceremonial pomp of his official visit to Washington, the conservative leader is expected to be dogged by critics’ questions about how he is handling his country’s wartime past.

Apr 24, 2015

No U.S.-Japan trade breakthrough expected during Abe visit – White House

WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) – The White House on Friday
dashed hopes of a breakthrough on U.S.-Japan trade when
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meet in
Washington next week, further delaying a major 12-nation Pacific
trade pact.

“We’re not there yet,” said Caroline Atkinson, Obama’s
deputy national security adviser.

Apr 24, 2015

U.S., Japan make progress in trade talks but no deal seen yet: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and Japanese negotiators have made “substantial progress” toward a deal on a major Pacific free-trade pact but President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are not expected to announce a final accord during Abe’s Washington visit next week, the White House said on Friday.

“We’re not there yet,” said Caroline Atkinson, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, all but dashing hopes for a breakthrough agreement that would be the signature achievement when Obama hosts Abe at the White House on Tuesday.

Apr 24, 2015

Biden, seeking to ease U.S.-Israel strains, pledges delivery of new warplanes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Seeking to ease U.S.-Israeli tensions, Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday promised Israel delivery of top-flight fighter jets next year to maintain its military edge and vowed that any final nuclear deal with Iran would ensure Israel’s security.

Addressing an Israeli Independence Day celebration in Washington, Biden insisted that Barack Obama “has Israel’s back,” despite a recent strains between the U.S. president and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Iran nuclear talks and Middle East diplomacy.

Apr 14, 2015

Obama tells Congress he plans to remove Cuba from terrorism list

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told Congress on Tuesday that he plans to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, clearing away the main obstacle to restoring diplomatic relations and reopening embassies after more than half a century of enmity.

Obama’s decision comes on the heels of a Western Hemisphere summit in Panama where Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro sat down on Saturday for the first meeting of its kind between U.S. and Cuban leaders in nearly 60 years.

Apr 13, 2015

History now made, U.S. and Cuba face bumpy road ahead

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – Cuba and the United States just made history. Now comes the hard part.

In the first meeting of its kind in nearly 60 years, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro sat down together for over an hour on Saturday at a regional summit in Panama, moving a step closer to restoring diplomatic ties.

Apr 12, 2015

Obama meets Raul Castro in highest-level U.S.-Cuba talks in decades

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama met Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday in the highest-level talks between the two countries in nearly 60 years, and the two men agreed to push ahead on improving relations after decades of hostility.

Describing their private meeting as “historic,” Obama said the two countries can end the antagonism of the Cold War era, although he said he would continue to pressure the communist-led country on democracy and human rights.

Apr 11, 2015

Obama pushes Latin America on rights as he courts Cuba

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – President Barack Obama challenged Latin American leaders on Saturday to improve human rights and democracy even as he works to end decades of hostility between the United States and communist-run Cuba.

Obama has won praise across much of Latin America for seeking to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba and he shook President Raul Castro’s hand in a show of the detente on Friday night, but he took a tougher line on Saturday in a speech at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

Apr 11, 2015

Latin America celebrates push by Obama, Castro to heal U.S.-Cuba rift

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – As Latin American leaders applaud a historic thawing of animosity between the United States and Cuba, U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Raul Castro for talks on Saturday that could further boost his reputation in the region.

Obama and the Cuban president shook hands and spoke briefly at the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Americas on Friday night, a gesture that drew praise from other leaders who have in recent years called for changes in U.S. policy on Cuba.

    • 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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