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Sep 24, 2013

Renewed push at U.N. for Syria resolution followed by peace talks

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama appealed to the United Nations on Tuesday to back tough consequences for Syria if it refuses to give up chemical weapons and urged Russia and Iran to end their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

At the same time, Obama said agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons should energize a larger diplomatic effort to end 2-1/2 years of civil war – a sentiment that was echoed by the leaders of Turkey, Jordan and France, among others.

Sep 24, 2013

Obama urges U.N. to back tough consequences for Syria over chemical weapons

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 24 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack
Obama urged the United Nations on Tuesday to back tough
consequences for Syria if it refuses to give up chemical weapons
and urged Russia and Iran to drop their backing of Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad.

Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, an annual gathering
of world leaders, Obama laid out U.S. priorities for the
volatile Middle East and North Africa. He stressed that the
United States wants diplomatic outcomes to festering disputes,
but does not rule out the use of military force or direct action
against extremist threats.

Sep 24, 2013

Obama tells world leaders diplomatic path with Iran must be tested

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Tuesday the United States was ready to engage diplomatically with Iran in what could be a historic opening between the long-time foes but put the onus on the new Iranian president to prove he is serious about pursuing a nuclear deal.

Addressing an annual summit of world leaders at the United Nations, Obama said he wanted to put President Hassan Rouhani’s overtures to the test and challenged him to take concrete steps toward resolving Iran’s long-running nuclear dispute with the West.

Sep 24, 2013

Obama, Clinton to launch healthcare campaign push Tuesday

NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will turn to his unofficial “secretary of explaining stuff,” former President Bill Clinton, on Tuesday to help with a final push to extol the benefits of U.S. healthcare reform before new insurance exchanges go live on October 1.

Obama, who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, will meet with his most recent Democratic predecessor at the Clinton Global Initiative, a conference where the two men will talk about Obama’s healthcare reform law, which Republicans continue to try to repeal.

Sep 23, 2013

Obama pledges U.S. support after Kenya ‘outrage’

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday condemned an attack at a mall in Kenya as he prepared for a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in which he will call for international solidarity against a fresh wave of violence from Islamist extremists.

Obama immersed himself into diplomacy shortly after arriving from Washington, sitting down for talks with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and presiding over a meeting of civil society experts who were critical of governments that crack down on non-governmental aid organizations.

Sep 20, 2013

Obama, Boehner locked in another budget battle as deadlines loom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner are gripped in another budget battle, but so far the two are shouting at each other from a distance instead of sitting down and negotiating as crucial deadlines rapidly approach.

While they might be playing a waiting game, the fact that they are not talking in a meaningful way – as they have during previous showdowns on fiscal issues – is itself becoming a side issue.

Sep 18, 2013

Obama to ask business leaders to push Congress to raise debt limit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will appeal to business leaders on Wednesday to urge Congress to approve an increase in the U.S. debt limit and avoid a default that is possible as early as mid-October.

Obama is to address the Business Roundtable as part of a renewed push to focus on domestic budget and economic issues after a month dominated by foreign policy.

Sep 17, 2013

White House to review contractors after Washington shootings

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said Tuesday it will review standards for federal government contractors after the Washington Navy Yard shootings, which authorities said were committed by a contract worker who had a security clearance to work there.

President Barack Obama will be briefed on Tuesday on the details of the Washington Navy Yard shootings by his national security aides, including Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Sep 16, 2013

Obama says he will not negotiate with Congress on debt ceiling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama warned Republicans in Congress on Monday that he will not negotiate over an extension of the U.S. debt ceiling as part of a budget battle that will soon dominate Washington, with a deadline fast approaching.

Pivoting to domestic policy after devoting weeks to the crisis in Syria, Obama scolded his political opponents for threatening a government shutdown and attempting to attach conditions to funding the budget for the 2014 fiscal year that begins October 1.

Sep 15, 2013

Obama says Syria deal could offer lesson for Iran talks

WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
disclosed in a television interview broadcast on Sunday that he
had exchanged letters with new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
and said diplomacy on Syria, backed up by a military threat, is
a potential model for negotiating over Tehran’s nuclear
ambitions.

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week with George
Stephanopoulos,” Obama did not reveal details of the letter
exchange, but made clear that U.S. concerns about Iran’s nuclear
ambitions are a “far larger issue for us” than Syria’s chemical
weapons.

    • 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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