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Mar 29, 2014

Obama seeks to reassure Saudi Arabia over Iran, Syria

RIYADH (Reuters) – President Barack Obama sought to reassure Saudi King Abdullah on Friday that he would support moderate Syrian rebels and reject a bad nuclear deal with Iran, during a visit designed to allay the kingdom’s concerns that its decades-old U.S. alliance had frayed.

Flying by helicopter to the king’s desert camp, Obama underscored the importance of Washington’s relationship with the world’s largest oil exporter in a two-hour meeting that focused on the Middle East but did not touch on energy or human rights.

Mar 29, 2014

Putin calls Obama to discuss U.S. proposal on Ukraine: White House

RIYADH (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday to discuss a U.S. diplomatic proposal for Ukraine, the White House said, adding that Obama told him that Russia must pull back its troops and not move deeper into Ukraine.

The Kremlin also reported on the conversation, saying Putin had suggested “examining possible steps the global community can take to help stabilize the situation,” and said the foreign ministers of the two countries would discuss this soon.

Mar 28, 2014

Russia’s Putin calls Obama to discuss U.S. proposal on Ukraine: White House

RIYADH (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday to discuss a U.S. diplomatic proposal for Ukraine and Obama told him that Russia must pull back its troops and not move deeper into Ukraine, the White House said.

It was believed to have been the first direct conversation between Obama and Putin since the United States and its European allies began imposing sanctions on Putin’s inner circle and threatened to penalize key sectors of Russia’s economy.

Mar 28, 2014

Obama tells Saudi Arabia will not make a bad Iran deal: U.S.

RIYADH (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama told Saudi king Abdullah he would not agree to a bad deal with Iran on its nuclear program, a senior American official said, on a visit aimed at allaying the kingdom’s concerns that their decades-old alliance is faltering.

While the two leaders discussed “tactical differences”, they both agreed their strategic interests were aligned, the official said. A White House statement after the two hours of talks said Obama had reiterated the significance Washington placed on its “strong” ties with the world’s largest oil exporter.

Mar 28, 2014
via FaithWorld

Pope Francis tells President Obama of his concern for religious freedom in U.S.


(Pope Francis (R) talks with U.S. President Barack Obama as they exchange gifts during a private audience at the Vatican City March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys/Pool)

Pope Francis and Vatican officials on Thursday told U.S. President Barack Obama they were concerned about “religious freedom” in the United States, an apparent reference to the contraception mandate in Obama’s health care plan.

Mar 26, 2014

In mirror-image speech, Obama rebuts Putin over Ukraine

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – President Barack Obama jousted rhetorically with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday with a point-by-point rebuttal of the Russian president’s rationale for his incursion into Ukraine.

Without mentioning Putin’s name, Obama used a keynote speech in Brussels on U.S.-European relations to push back against many of the justifications, grievances and accusations used by the Russian leader for Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

Mar 25, 2014

Obama brings U.S. allies South Korea and Japan together for talks

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama brought together the leaders of Japan and South Korea on Tuesday for their first face-to-face talks, seeking to thaw chilly relations between two of Washington’s closest Asian allies.

The United States hopes the move may improve the bilateral relationship between Seoul and Tokyo, clouded by resentment over Japan’s colonial past, and strengthen their combined response to regional concerns such as North Korea and China.

Mar 25, 2014

Obama, in dig at Putin, calls Russia ‘regional power’

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday called Russia a “regional power” that had seized part of Ukraine out of weakness rather than strength, in a dig at President Vladimir Putin.

Putin has tried to rebuild Russia’s prestige since the collapse of the Soviet Union and project Moscow as a strong player on the international stage.

Mar 25, 2014

G7 warns Russia of more sanctions if Ukraine crisis escalates

THE HAGUE/FEODOSIA, Crimea (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and major industrialized allies warned Russia on Monday it faced damaging economic sanctions if President Vladimir Putin takes further action to destabilize Ukraine following the seizure of Crimea.

Leaders of the Group of Seven nations, meeting without Russia, agreed to hold their own summit this year instead of attending a planned G8 meeting in the Russian Olympic venue of Sochi, along the Black Sea coast from Crimea, and to suspend their participation in the G8 until Russia changes course.

Mar 24, 2014

Obama seeks allied, China support as Ukraine exits Crimea

THE HAGUE/FEODOSIA, Crimea (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama sought support from European allies and China on Monday to isolate Russia over its seizure of Crimea, and Ukraine told its remaining troops to leave the region after Russian forces overran one of Kiev’s last bases there.

Obama, who has imposed tougher sanctions on Moscow than European leaders over its takeover of the Black Sea peninsula, will seek backing for his firm line at a meeting with other leaders of the G7 – a group of industrialized nations that excludes Russia, which joined in 1998 to form the G8.

    • About Steve

      "A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Steve has worked for Reuters in Washington for 20 years, and spent 16 of those years at the White House covering Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign."
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