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Apr 4, 2014

Obama briefs congressional leaders on Ukraine crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama brought congressional leaders to the White House on Thursday for talks on the Ukraine crisis, with diplomatic efforts between the United States and Russia facing a hard slog.

A week after a trip to Europe that was dominated by meetings to discuss ways to react to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Obama sat down with Democratic and Republican leaders of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

Apr 3, 2014

White House objects to Samsung’s use of Obama photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It was a fun moment: Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz snapped a “selfie” photo with President Barack Obama when the World Series champions visited the White House this week.

But the smiles turned to scowls when mobile provider Samsung promoted the picture on Twitter to the company’s 5.2 million followers and pointed out the image had been taken with a Samsung smartphone.

Mar 29, 2014

Obama ends four-nation trip in diplomatic limbo over Ukraine

RIYADH (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama ended a four-nation foreign trip on Saturday at the same point that he began it, still facing great uncertainty about a diplomatic way out of the Ukraine crisis.

His diplomatic consultations at The Hague, Brussels and Rome over the past week all resulted in a strong show of unity between the United States and Europe that Russia must face consequences should it move against southern or eastern Ukraine.

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.

    • 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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