Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα obama. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα obama. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 29, 2016

Νέες εναλλακτικές για τη στάση τους στο συριακό εξετάζουν οι ΗΠΑ

Οι υπηρεσίες Πληροφοριών και Εθνικής Ασφάλειας των ΗΠΑ εξετάζουν νέες εναλλακτικές για τη στάση της χώρας στο συριακό, προκειμένου να δοθεί τέλος στον εμφύλιο πόλεμο στη Συρία, ανέφερε ο αναπληρωτής υπουργός Εξωτερικών των ΗΠΑ Άντονι Μπλίνκεν.

Κυριακή, Φεβρουαρίου 22, 2015

Obama Moves Forward on Arctic Drilling Despite Cleanup Challenges

The US Department of the Interior has proposed long-awaited federal regulations for oil and natural-gas in Alaska's Arctic region. Environmentalists have pointed out that the environment makes it nearly impossible to clean up spills.

The regulations point out the challenges in drilling in the Arctic environment and mandate extensive contingency plans for a swift response to spills. 

Spills are notoriously difficult to clean in the frigid and remote waters. Such rules include having an additional rig that could drill a relief well in the event the company loses control of the primary well.

According to analysis compiled by the National Energy Board, conditions in the area present huge obstacles to any potential cleanup efforts, even during the busy summer months. Looking at how wave heights and ice patterns could prevent the use of cleanup tools such as in-situ burning, containment and the use of dispersants, they determined cleanup would be impossible 20% of the time in June, 40% of the time in August and 65% of the time in October. After October, any response would most likely have to be deferred until the following season.


No company is yet drilling the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the coast of Alaska yet, but Royal Dutch Shell is planning on starting exploratory drilling this summer. ConocoPhillips and Statoil also have leases in American Arctic areas but have yet to announce any drilling plans. However, Shell’s summer drilling will not be governed by that rule since it won’t be in place by then and would only apply to drilling operations farther in the future.

Shell was involved in a disastrous attempt to drill in the Arctic in 2012 when it was towing its Kulluk oil rig out into Dutch Harbor by ship. The ship lost control when a winter storm hit and the rig, along with 150,000 gallons of fuel and drilling fluid, later washed up along pristine Alaska coastline.


As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency fined Shell $1.1 million for violations of the Clean Air Act as a result of the Kulluk’s engines releasing nitrogen oxide, ammonia and other pollutants and they cited Shell with 33 air permit violations.

Since then, oil companies and environmentalists have been waiting to see how the Interior Department would react to industry lobbying efforts to drill in Alaska. It is believed that the region holds between 24 billion barrels of oil and 104 trillion cubic feet of gas comprising as much as 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves and 30 percent of its undiscovered gas reserves, a potential boon for American production.

  sputniknews.com
 21/2/15
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Τετάρτη, Δεκεμβρίου 17, 2014

Obama says US restoring ties with Cuba (five decades after diplomatic relations were severed)

The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba more than 50 years after they were severed, US President Barack Obama has said, just hours after Havana announced it had released a US aid worker who had been jailed for five years in Cuba.

"Today the US is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba. We'll begin to normalise relations between our two nations. Through these changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people and begin a new chapter," said Obama.


The US president said he had spoken to his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro on Tuesday about arrangements to release US aid worker Alan Gross, who was arrested in 2009 in Cuba and jailed for five years, on humanitarian grounds.

US media reported a prisoner exchange that also included Cuba releasing a US intelligence source and the US releasing three Cuban intelligence agents.

Obama said he had instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately initiate discussions with Cuba on the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, which were severed in 1961.

"In the coming months, we will re-establish an embassy in Havana and carry out high-level exchanges and visits between our two governments as part of the normalisation process," Obama said.

"As an initial step, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs will lead the US Delegation to the next round of US-Cuba Migration Talks in January 2015, in Havana."

Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane, reporting from Washington, said the trade embargo imposed on Cuba after ties were severed can only be lifted by Congress. 

"Senior administration officials tell me they don't think Congress is going to lift the embargo. We have seen several members of Congress come out and call the president's moves 'outrageous'," she said.
Cuban President Raul Castro said he welcomed the restoration of relations with the US.
In a nationally broadcast speech, the Cuban leader said profound differences remained between Cuba and the US in areas such as human rights, foreign policy and questions of sovereignty, but he said the two nations have to learn to live with their differences "in a civilised manner".................http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2014/12/cuba-releases-us-aid-worker-alan-gross-20141217142522855301.html
17/12/14
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Σάββατο, Νοεμβρίου 15, 2014

Obama: US Pledges $3 Billion to Developing Nations for Global Warming Fund

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that the United States is contributing $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to help developing nations deal with climate change.

Obama made his announcement Saturday at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia -- host city of this year's summit of the Group of 20 world economic powers.
The president said the fund will help pay for such necessities as early warning systems and stronger defenses against storm surges. It also will help farmers plant more durable crops and aid developing economies in cutting carbon emissions and investing in clean energy.

Obama said it is not just governments that can fight climate change. He called on citizens, especially young people, to raise their voices, saying they deserve to live in a cleaner and healthier world.

Without mentioning any specific country, the president said effective security in Asia must be based on alliances and international law -- not spheres of influence or big nations bullying the small.

He said the only real source of legitimacy is a democracy and the consent of the people.
[voanews.com]
14/11/14
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Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 13, 2014

US President Raises Tibetan Rights Issue with Xi Jinping

DHARAMSHALA: President Barack Obama raised the Tibet issue during a joint press conference in Beijing on Wednesday with Chinese president Xi Jinping, the Daily Mail reported.
‘We are not in favor of independence,’ President Obama said at the press conference.

‘But we did encourage Chinese authorities to take steps to preserve the unique cultural, religious and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people,’ he said.


President Obama said he and President Xi ‘had a very healthy exchange around these issues,’ and he told the Chinese head that ‘it is so important for us to speak out for the freedoms that we believe are universal, rights that we believe are the birthright of all men and women, wherever they live, whether it is in New York or Paris or Hong Kong.’

‘We think history shows that nations that uphold these rights – including for ethnic and religious minorities – are ultimately more prosperous, more successful, and more able to achieve the dreams of their people,’ he added.

In February this year, President Obama met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and reiterated his support for the preservation of the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions of Tibet.

The President extended support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach policy and reiterated that Chinese government should have constructive dialogue with His Holiness’ representatives without any precondition. President Obama asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama about Tibet and His Holiness explained the current situation. President Obama expressed his deep concern about the worsening human rights situation in Tibet and Tibetan areas in China.

[tibet.net]
13/11/14
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Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 05, 2014

Obama takes midterm hit (Result will not impact continuity in Sino-US ties)

The Republicans achieved sweeping midterm election wins on Tuesday, seizing control of the US Senate in a blow to President Barack Obama that will limit his political influence and curb his legislative agenda in his last two years in office, said analysts.

Republicans won in places where Democrats were favored, like a Senate race in North Carolina, pulled out victories where the going was tough, like a Senate battle in Kansas, and swept a number of governors' races in states where Democrats were favored, like Obama's home state of Illinois.


They also strengthened their grip on the House of Representatives, and when the new Congress takes power in January, will be in charge of both chambers of Congress for the first time since 2006.

Obama will hold a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, the White House said. He is likely to address how he plans to work with Republicans.

Obama, first elected in 2008 and again in 2012, called Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress to the White House on Friday to take stock of the new political landscape.

The Republican surge will force Obama to scale back his legislative agenda and limit his ambitions to either executive actions that do not require legislative approval, or items that might gain bipartisan support, such as trade agreements and tax reform.

It will also test his ability to compromise with newly empowered political opponents who have been resisting his legislative agenda since he was first elected.

But Republicans, hoping to win the White House in 2016, will also be under pressure to show Americans they are capable of governing after drawing scorn a year ago for shutting down the government in a budget fight.

Republicans winning control of both chambers of Congress may lead to tougher diplomatic stances. This could include stronger attacks against the Islamic State militants as hawkish Republican Senator John McCain is expected to run the powerful Armed Services Committee when the US Congress convenes in January, said Ni Feng, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in an interview with the Global Times.

"Other issues like the Iran nuclear talks might also be at risk as Republicans have rebuked Obama for being weak," said Ni.

  • As the US is mired in multiple diplomatic dilemmas, including in Ukraine and the Middle East, the new congress might push interventionist policies to counter its waning influence, Shi Yinhong, a professor with the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.

Election Day polling by Reuters/Ipsos found a dour mood among the electorate with less than one-third of voters believing the country is headed in the right direction.

Roughly 40 percent of voters said they approved of the job Obama is doing as president, though they were split over whether they expected the economy to improve or worsen in the coming year.

Directly after the midterm elections, Obama will make a state visit to China from November 10 to 12 when he attends the APEC summit in Beijing. He is also expected to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a relatively informal setting.

Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai told reporters Tuesday that he does not think the election result will influence Sino-US ties, as China policies of the last eight US presidents have been strongly consistent.

"It is hard to expect breakthroughs in the Sino-US relationship, especially where there are differences when Obama's influence has taken such a blow, even if he hopes to," said Shi. "But the two countries will definitely continue cooperating in fields including climate change, nuclear nonproliferation, fighting Ebola and Afghanistan," he added.

  • The White House tried to play down the prospect of sharp changes in strategy after the election, saying Obama would seek common ground with Congress on areas like trade and infrastructure.

Jay Carney, Obama's former spokesman, said he expects Obama to make an "all-out push" on his priorities, regardless of the makeup of Congress.

Source: Reuters-Global Times
5-6/11/14

Δευτέρα, Σεπτεμβρίου 29, 2014

US-led airstrikes fail to deter ISIS advance

US-led coalition air raids targeted areas in Syria controlled by the Islamic State (IS) group Monday, but the group continue to advance on the strategic town of Kobani.

Washington and its Arab allies opened their air assault against the Islamic State extremist group last week, going after its military facilities, training camps, heavy weapons and oil installations. The campaign expands upon the airstrikes the United States has been conducting against the militants in Iraq since early August.


The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said coalition forces hit IS group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, facilities overnight in Aleppo, Raqqa, Hassakeh and Deir el-Zour provinces. It said there were casualties, including civilians, but did not have exact figures.

Meanwhile, IS group fighters closed in Monday to within only a few kilometres of a key Kurdish town on Syria’s border with Turkey, despite continued airstrikes by the US-led coalition.

The jihadists managed to advance within five kilometres (three miles) of the strategic Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane to the Kurds, the Observatory said.

The Britain-based monitoring group said it was the closest IS group militants had come to the town since they began advancing toward it nearly two weeks ago.

The jihadists fired at least 15 rockets at the town centre, killing at least one person, as they advanced, the Observatory said, adding that other rockets hit the Syrian-Turkish border.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s government said it would ask parliament to debate joining the coalition against the jihadists operating on the country’s doorstep from as early as Thursday.

Civilian casualties

One of the coalition strikes hit a grain silo in the extremist-held town of Manbij in Aleppo province, setting it ablaze. Observatory director Rami Abdurrahman said the strike on the grain silo killed civilians, but he didn’t have an exact number.

“They killed only civilians there, workers at the site. There was no ISIS inside,” he said, using an alternative name for the Islamic State group. The airstrikes “destroyed the food that was stored there.”

US military says it targeted IS vehicles adjacent to grain storage facility in Syria and that there was no evidence of civilian casualties.

Strikes touch Turkish border, Syria’s largest gas plant

In Deir el-Zour province, a strike overnight attributed to the coalition hit the entrance to the Conoco gas plant, Syria’s largest, according to the Observatory, although the facility itself was not damaged.

More raids Monday morning struck the town of Tel Abyad on the Syria-Turkey border, according to a resident on the Turkish side on the frontier.

Mehmet Ozer told The Associated Press by telephone that the raids had hit an abandoned military base and an empty school, sending pillars of smoke and dust into the air. He said Islamic State fighters cleared out of the military base about three or four months ago.

“They (the coalition) must not have fresh intelligence,” Ozer said.

Two shells from the fighting on the Syrian side of the border landed on Turkish soil in the town of Suruc, an AP journalist on the frontier said. Turkey’s military moved tanks away from the army post in the area, positioning them instead on a hill overlooking the border.

IS attacks continue despite mobilised international community

The IS group has seized control of a huge chunk of Syria and neighbouring Iraq, and has declared the establishment of a self-styled caliphate ruled by its strict interpretation of Shariah law.

Its brutal tactics, which include mass killings and beheadings, have helped galvanize the international community to react with military intervention.

The US-led campaign aims to roll back the extremists’ gains in Syria and Iraq, and ultimately to destroy the group.

The coalition includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Jordan. Several European countries also are contributing to US efforts to strike the IS in Iraq, including France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Britain.

However, despite the international efforts, Islamic State fighters have pressed ahead with their offensive against Syria’s Kurds in the city of Ayn Arab, also known as Kobani, on the Turkish border.

Ismet Sheikh Hassan, a senior official in the Kobani region for the Kurdish militia, said the extremists fired rockets and tank shells at the city from the southeast, while some 1,000 militants amassed to the west. He said a 50-year-old woman was killed by the shelling.

More than 100,000 people have fled across the border to Turkey to escape the onslaught, while the US-led coalition on Saturday targeted the attacking Islamic State fighters for the first time to try to stem their advance.

Civilian casualties in airstrikes

The purported civilian casualties in Manbij would add to the 19 civilians that the Observatory says have already been killed in the coalition airstrikes. The Observatory gathers its information from a network of activists across Syria.

On Sunday, Human Rights Watch said that it had confirmed the deaths of at least seven civilians- two women and five children from apparent US missile strikes on Sept. 23 in the village of Kafr Derian in Idlib province. The New York-based group said two men were also killed in the strikes, but that they may have been militants.

It based its conclusions on conversations with three local residents.

“The United States and its allies in Syria should be taking all feasible precautions to avoid harming civilians,” said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The US government should investigate possible unlawful strikes that killed civilians, publicly report on them, and commit to appropriate redress measures in case of wrongdoing.”
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

http://www.france24.com/en/20140929-syria-airstrikes-coalition-kobani-islamic-state/
29/9/14
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Πέμπτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 25, 2014

US to create world's largest marine reserve in Pacific

The United States is to create the world's largest marine reserve, stretching over about 1 million 270,000 square kilometres of the Pacific ocean, the White House press service said.

US President Barack Obama will sign the bill on Thursday, setting out plans for a new environmental zone encompassing seven desert islands and coral atolls existing under US juridiction.


The current Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument territory between the Hawaiian islands and Samoa will be expanded sixfold to become a marine-protected area (MPA).The zone will ban any business activity there, including commercial fishing and mining operations.

American scientists believe the region has a tropical marine environment with unique animal and vegetal life that needs protection, seeking to defend deep-sea coral reefs thought most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/751198
25/9/14
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Τρίτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 23, 2014

Obama vows more strikes on ISIL in Syria. (the US is not fighting alone)

US President Barack Obama has said that the participation of five Arab nations in Syria airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters "makes it clear to the world this is not America's fight alone".
In a short statement on Tuesday, hours after the first US-led airstrikes hit the group's headquarters in eastern Syria, Obama vowed to continue the fight, which he said was vital to the security of the United States, the Middle East and the world.

"Once again, it must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people," Obama said on Tuesday before leaving the White House for the United Nations in New York.
He said the joint fight against ISIL would take time, pledging to build more international support for the effort.
He added that the US was proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates in conducting the strikes.

'Lengthy campaign'
The US-led military coalition launched the airstrikes early on Tuesday, pounding strongholds of the ISIL fighters across northern and eastern Syria.
The opening salvo hit in what Obama warned to be a lengthy campaign aiming to defeat the group who have seized control of a huge swath of territory spanning the Syria-Iraq border.
The air campaign expanded to also hit al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, known as the al-Nusra Front, which has fought against ISIL. Washington considers it a terror group threatening the US.
Syria's Foreign Ministry said Washington told Damascus' envoy to the United Nations of the impending raids shortly before they began. It also said US Secretary of State John Kerry passed a message through Iraq's foreign minister to Syria's top diplomat to inform Damascus of the plans.
John Kirby, spokesman for the Pentagon, said on Tuesday that more than 160 munitions were fired on ISIL targets in Syria. He said that the US had no indication so far that any civilians were killed during the strikes, adding that assessments were under way.

Strikes on training compounds
The US and five Arab countries began their airstrikes on the group's targets in Syria around 3 am on Tuesday Syrian time. 
Bahrain and the UAE confirmed the Gulf role, saying their air forces struck "terrorist sites and positions."
A Jordanian government spokesman also confirmed his country's air forces took part, accusing the ISIL of trying to infiltrate its borders.
"We will not hesitate to take further actions to target and kill terrorists who are trying to attack our country," said Mohammad al-Momani, a government spokesman.
The strikes hit the group's training compounds and command centers, storage facilities and vehicles in its de facto capital Raqqa, in northeastern Syria, and the surrounding province as well as the stretch of territory controlled by the group in eastern Syria leading to the Iraqi border, including the areas of Deir el-Zour, Abu Kamal and Hasaka, according to US officials.

'Silently slaughtered'
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 70 ISIL fighters were killed and more than 300 wounded in Raqqa and the east. The Observatory has a network of activists around the country.
Rami Abdurrahman, the head of the Observatory, said about 22 airstrikes hit Raqqa province in addition to 30 in Deir el-Zour province.
Among the targets was a military air base captured by the extremists in the town of Tabqa and the town of Tel Abyad on the border with Turkey, the Observatory and another media collective reported.
The collective, entitled "Raqqa is being silently slaughtered," said the strikes also hit the governorate headquarters in Raqqa and the Brigade 93 Syrian army base, both controlled by the Islamic State group.
Further west, the strikes hit the village of Kfar Derian, a al-Nusra Front stronghold.
Around a dozen al-Nusra Front fighters were killed as well as 10 civilians, according to two activists based in nearby Aleppo, Mohammed al-Dughaim and Abu Raed. One of the group's best snipers, known as Abu Youssef al-Turki, was among those killed, al-Dughaim said.
An amateur video posted online on Tuesday shows explosions said to be from airstrikes going off at night in an open area near Kfar Derian. Another video taken in daylight shows locals standing on a massive, dusty pile of shattered concrete blocks and twisted rebar. Some villagers can be seen standing on a rooftop next door gazing at the wreckage.
[aljazeera.com]
23/9/14

Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 09, 2014

Obama warns Iraq operation could take time

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday U.S. airstrikes have destroyed arms and equipment that Islamic State insurgents could have used to attack Erbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital, but warned the current operation in Iraq could take some time.

“I don’t think we’re going to solve this problem in weeks. This is going to take some time,” Obama told reporters.
“This is going to be a long-term project,” he said during a brief news conference before leaving Washington for a two-week vacation in Massachusetts.


Obama said the United States would continue to provide military assistance and advice to the Baghdad government and Kurdish forces, but stressed repeatedly the importance of Iraq forming its own inclusive government.

“I think this a wake-up call for a lot of Iraqis inside of Baghdad recognizing that we’re going to have to rethink how we do business if we’re going to hold our country together,” Obama said.

Obama on Thursday authorized the U.S. military to make airdrops of humanitarian assistance to prevent what he called a potential “genocide” of the ancient Yazidi religious sect in Iraq and conduct targeted strikes on Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq, a limited operation to protect American officials working in the country.

In Saturday’s remarks, Obama described next steps, including creating a safe corridor for the Yazidis to leave the mountain. He also said longer-term operations must include counter-terrorism.


Last Update: Saturday, 9 August 2014 KSA 19:08 - GMT 16:08 
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/08/09/Obama-says-won-t-let-ISIS-create-caliphate-.html
 

Τετάρτη, Ιουνίου 18, 2014

Obama to create world's largest marine sanctuary in Pacific

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced plans to create what could be the world's largest marine sanctuary in the south-central Pacific Ocean in an effort to protect the ocean and its marine ecosystems.

Obama announced his executive actions in a video message to those present at the second and final day of the two-day "Our Ocean" conference hosted by the U.S. State Department, which focused on sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and ocean acidification.
"We've already shown that when we work together, we can protect our oceans for future generations. So let's redouble our efforts," Obama said.

The White House in a background statement said the Obama administration is considering how to "expand protections near the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south- central Pacific Ocean, an area which contains some of the most pristine tropical marine environments in the world."

The administration will consider the input of fishermen, scientists, conservation experts, elected officials, and other stakeholders "before making decisions about the geographic scope and details," it added.

The Washington Post, however, reported that Obama is looking at expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument from almost 87,000 square miles (225,328 square kilometers) to nearly 782,000 square miles (2.03 million square kilometers) and that the plan will affect seven islands and atolls controlled by the United States.

The newspaper also said that the plan, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, is likely to spark a new political battle with Republicans over the scope of Obama's executive powers.

Obama also said he is directing federal agencies to develop a comprehensive program aimed at deterring illegal fishing, addressing seafood fraud, and preventing illegally caught fish from entering the marketplace by increasing traceability and transparency.

According to the White House statement, black market fishing constitutes up to 20 percent of the wild marine fish caught each year around the world, and drains up to 23 billion U.S. dollars from legitimate fishing enterprises.

Kerry explained at the ocean meeting that the announcement by Obama to deal with illegal fishing will ensure that "all seafood sold in the United States is both sustainable and traceable, meaning customers will know exactly who caught it, where and when. "

"We can all do more, and if there's no market, we have an ability to really to be able to diminish the impact of illegal and undocumented, unwarranted fishing, and we want to do that," Kerry said.

He said nations at the conference have pledged to invest a total of 1.4 billion dollars towards protecting our ocean. In addition, including Obama's announcement, marine protections will be extended to cover more than 3 million square kilometers in the Pacific Ocean.

"We need to do more," Kerry told the heads of state, ministers, scientists, and industry representatives from about 80 countries at the conference. "But that is a terrific start."
WASHINGTON, June 17 (Xinhua)
[cntv.cn] 
18/6/14
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Παρασκευή, Ιουνίου 13, 2014

Obama: Iraq has to solve its own problems

President says US troops will not be sent back to Iraq, but his administration is reviewing options to assist Baghdad....

President Barack Obama has said that the United States will not be sending its troops back to Iraq, but is reviewing other options to assist the Iraqi government threatened by an advancing armed group.
"We will not be sending US troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces," Obama said on Friday.

"The US will do our part, but ultimately it's up to the Iraqis, as a sovereign nation, to solve their problems," he said speaking at the White House lawn.
He said that the Islamic State of Iraq and The Levant (ISIL) has made significant gains in Iraq and that the armed group had overrun part of the country. 
The threat by ISIL fighters in Iraq poses a danger to the people of Iraq and also, potentially Americans, Obama said.

Administration officials said Obama was considering airstrikes using drones or manned aircraft. Other short-term options include an increase in surveillance and intelligence gathering, including satellite coverage and other monitoring efforts.
The US also is likely to increase various forms of aid to Iraq, including money, military training and both lethal and non-lethal equipment. 

Obama added that Iraq's government must make a sincere effort to address sectarian differences, or else US military help would not succeed in curbing the violence there.
He suggested it could take several days before the administration finalises its response to the situation on the ground.
The last US troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011 after more than eight years of war.
[aljazeera.com]
13/6/14
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Πέμπτη, Ιουνίου 05, 2014

Obama warns Putin to work with Ukraine or face new sanctions

BRUSSELS - President Barack Obama said on Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin must recognize and work with Ukraine's new government and stop "provocations" along its border, or face tougher sanctions from members of the G7 group of nations.
"We will have a chance to see what Mr. Putin does over the next two, three, four weeks, and if he remains on the current course then we’ve already indicated the kinds of actions that we’re prepared to take," Obama told at a news conference at the end of a G7 summit.

The president added that he would have preferred it if France had held back on the sale of Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia. REUTERS

[todayonline.com]
5/6/14
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Σάββατο, Μαΐου 31, 2014

Full Obama Statement on Prisoner Release

President Barack Obama broke the news Saturday that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's was released by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan. Here is the president's statement, as released by the White House:


Statement by the President on Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl:
"Today the American people are pleased that we will be able to welcome home Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held captive for nearly five years.

On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal.

Today we also remember the many troops held captive and who remain missing or unaccounted for in America’s past wars. Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield. And as we find relief in Bowe’s recovery, our thoughts and prayers are with those other Americans whose release we continue to pursue.

"For his assistance in helping to secure our soldier's return, I extend my deepest appreciation to the Emir of Qatar. The emir’s personal commitment to this effort is a testament to the partnership between our two countries. The United States is also grateful for the support of the government of Afghanistan throughout our efforts to secure Sergeant Bergdahl’s release.

"This week the United States renewed its commitment to the Afghan people and made clear that we will continue to support them as their chart their own future. The United States also remains committed to supporting an Afghan-led reconciliation process as the surest way to achieve a stable, secure, sovereign, and unified Afghanistan. While we are mindful of the challenges, it is our hope Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery could potentially open the door for broader discussions among Afghans about the future of their country by building confidence that it is possible for all sides to find common ground."  

[whitehouse.gov]-[voanews.com]

Παρασκευή, Μαΐου 30, 2014

Obama's spokesman Jay Carney unexpectedly resigns

United States President Barack Obama announced Friday afternoon that he’s accepted the resignation of White House press secretary Jay Carney.

Josh Earnest, the White House special assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary, will assume Carney’s role, Obama said during a surprise appearance from the commander-in-chief during a scheduled briefing Friday afternoon.

“His name describes his demeanor,” Obama said of the incoming press secretary. “Josh is an earnest guy and you can’t find just a nicer individual.”
 
Carney, the 49-year-old former Moscow bureau chief for Time Magazine, told reporters after the president’s remarks that his last three-and-a-half years as the White House press secretary has been an “amazing experience” and “so fulfilling.” 

Pres. Obama’s announcement came less than three hours after he confirmed during a separate press conference that morning that he had moments earlier accepted the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki in the midst of a high-profile scandal that’s plagued the VA in recent weeks. 

Carney is expected to stay press secretary through mid-June, and did not immediately disclose the reasoning behind his departure or his future plans.  
[rt.com]
30/5/14

Τετάρτη, Μαΐου 28, 2014

Obama makes defiant defense of US restraint. Terrorism remains biggest threat to US

US President Barack Obama mounted a defiant defense of his global leadership Wednesday, rebuking critics who see him as weak but warning that not every global threat justifies a US military response.

In a major speech at the West Point military academy, Obama denied US power had ebbed under his watch, after he withdrew troops from Iraq and is doing the same in Afghanistan.

He also pledged to ramp up support for Syrian rebels, vowed to stand up to Russia over Ukraine and promised to make drone strikes against terror suspects more transparent.



He vowed to hold China accountable to international "rules of the road" in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

"To say that we have an interest in pursuing peace and freedom beyond our borders is not to say that every problem has a military solution," Obama said.

"Since World War II, some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint, but from our willingness to rush into military adventures - without thinking through the consequences," Obama said, in an apparent reference to the Iraq war, which he has branded a disaster.

The president's speech came with his foreign policy, which was once seen as a political asset, under assault from critics who believe he is being outmaneuvered by strongmen like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Here's my bottom line: America must always lead on the world stage. If we don't, no one else will. The military ... is, and always will be, the backbone of that leadership."

Obama was particularly exercised by those who complain he should have deployed the US military in Syria or made a more robust strategic response to Russia's annexation of Ukraine, or who complain that he has left Iraq or Afghanistan to fend for themselves.

"Tough talk often draws headlines but war rarely conforms to slogans," Obama said.

"But US military action cannot be the only, or even primary, component of our leadership in every instance.

"Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail," Obama told a graduation ceremony at the college.

"And because the costs associated with military action are so high, you should expect every civilian leader - and especially your commander in chief - to be clear about how that awesome power should be used."

Obama said he was "haunted" by the deaths of American servicemen under his watch - including some who attended previous commencement ceremonies he had given at West Point.

Obama also made an implicit defense of his decision to call off military strikes on Syria at the last minute last year to punish chemical weapons strikes.

Critics at home and abroad warned that the decision left dangerous questions about whether Washington would stand up to "red lines" elsewhere in the world.

"I would betray my duty to you, and to the country we love, if I sent you into harm's way simply because I saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed fixing, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak," he told the graduates.

Yu Wanli, a professor of international relations at Peking University, said the US military still enjoys supremacy globally, and Washington's military spending accounts for nearly half the world's total.

"As early as in 2008, Obama said during his campaign that he opposed a foreign policy that is dependant on military intervention," Yu said. "The view has been carried on till today. It was reflected in Obama's dealing with the crises in Syria and Ukraine."

In his speech, Obama also said that terrorism remained the biggest national security threat to the US and unveiled a new $5 billion fund to equip and train allies on the front lines of the struggle against terrorism, for instance in Africa.

He also defended his decision to leave nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan for a year after combat troops leave at the end of this year, and to gradually reduce the presence to a detachment of troops at the US Embassy in Kabul by the end of 2016, just before he leaves office. 

 [globaltimes.cn]
28-29/5/14

Τετάρτη, Μαρτίου 26, 2014

NATO Secretary General and US President stress commitment to collective defence

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and US President Barack Obama stressed the Alliance’s strong commitment to collective defence during talks in Brussels on Wednesday (26 March 2014). “Our commitment to the defence of our Allies is unbreakable,” said the Secretary General.
Mr. Fogh Rasmussen expressed his strong appreciation for the leadership role the United States plays in the Alliance during his meeting with President Obama. The talks focused on the crisis in Ukraine, relations with Russia and implications of the crisis on the preparations for this September’s NATO Summit in Wales.
I welcome the steps that the United States has taken in response to Russia’s reckless and illegal military actions in Ukraine. Collective defence of our Allies is a core task for NATO and I join you in your call for additional measures to enhance our collective defence including updated and further developed defence plans, enhanced exercises and appropriate deployments,” said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen.

He added that NATO is “firm in our support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will intensify our military cooperation with Ukraine including helping the Ukrainians to modernise their armed forces.” Allies will review the viability of their relationship with Russia in preparations for the Wales Summit. NATO will also enhance its cooperation with partners, including Ukraine and Allies will further strengthen their collective defence and reinforce their transatlantic bond, the Secretary General said.
NATO is a force for peace but also unmatched militarily. We do not seek confrontation but we will not waver if challenged and our Alliance is more than just a military Alliance, we are a community of values that also brings hope for all people seeking freedom and peace,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen states.
[nato.int]
26/3/14
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Statement by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen with US President Barack Obama in Brussels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czN2gA79SP0

Σάββατο, Μαρτίου 08, 2014

White House: Obama calls 6 world leaders about Ukraine crisis

KEY LARGO, Florida - President Barack Obama made a series of phone calls on Saturday to world leaders about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi the White House said.
He also held a conference call about the situation with the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.

 

  • No further details about the discussions were immediately available. 
 http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/White-House-Obama-calls-6-world-leaders-about-Ukraine-crisis-344710
8/3/14
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Related:

 

Πέμπτη, Μαρτίου 06, 2014

Obama: Crimea Referendum Violates International Law

President Barack Obama says new sanctions will "impose a cost" on Russia for its military move into Crimea and that a planned referendum on whether the peninsula should join Russia violates international law and Ukraine's constitution.

Mr. Obama told reporters at the White House an executive order he signed Thursday authorizes sanctions, including visa restrictions, on those who violate Ukraine's territorial integrity or steal the assets of the Ukrainian people.

He said that the steps were taken in "close coordination" with America's European allies, adding that he was "pleased that our international unity is on display at this critical moment."


The president said a referendum in Ukraine's Crimea region set for March 16 on whether to become part of Russia would violate international law. Mr. Obama said that any discussion about Ukraine's future "must include the legitimate government of Ukraine."

"In 2014 we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders," Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama's executive order also blocks the transfer out of the United States of assets belong to anyone who has undermined democratic institutions in Ukraine, misappropriated its economic assets, or threatened its territorial sovereignty.

The order does not name any targeted individuals.

The presidential move comes as the U.S. Congress is rushing to impose further sanctions against Russia for its takeover of Crimea and to provide loan guarantees for the fledgling Ukrainian government.

  • Earlier, the European Union moved to freeze the assets in Europe held by 18 Ukrainians, including ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, former premier Mykola Azarov and 16 former ministers, businessmen and security chiefs. Included on the list are Mr. Yanukovych's two sons and Azarov's son.

  • Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has issued a paper to counter what it says are 10 "false claims" made by Russia's President Putin about Ukraine.

Responding to Mr. Putin's claim that "citizens' defense groups," not Russian forces, have seized Ukrainian infrastructure and military facilities in Crimea, the State Department says there is "strong evidence" that "members of Russian security services are at the heart of the highly organized anti-Ukraine forces in Crimea." 

 http://www.voanews.com/content/obama-crimea-referendum-violates-international-law/1865820.html

6/3/14
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Related:

Παρασκευή, Σεπτεμβρίου 06, 2013

Obama, Putin chat — for 15 seconds (video R)/"Le monde de la guerre froide était très différent d'aujourd'hui"


Putin greets Obama at G20 summit από reuters
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President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin shared a brief, 15-second greeting Thursday at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was the first face-to-face interaction between the leaders after a summer of high-profile spats over Syria, Edward Snowden and gay rights.

According to the White House pool report, the pair shook hands and chatted briefly, with President Obama at one point flashing a big grin. Reporters could not hear what the pair discussed.


Earlier Thursday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said there was no expectation of a formal bilateral meeting with Putin during the economic summit.

"However, it’s always the case at these summits that leaders end up sitting next to each other; they end up having side conversations," Rhodes said. "So I certainly anticipate the president will have interactions with President Putin even as we don't have a formal meeting scheduled."

Obama had originally planned to meet with Putin in Moscow before arriving in St. Petersburg for the G-20. But the White House scrapped that trip after the Kremlin offered temporary asylum to Snowden, the former Defense contractor who revealed details about the National Security Agency's top-secret surveillance programs.

Since then, Putin has publicly challenged Obama's assertions that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime was responsible for last month's chemical weapons attack in the suburbs outside Damascus.

Rhodes said Thursday that the administration would "continue to discuss with the Russians what our evidentiary basis is," but that the White House "could not be more confident in the evidence that we put forward."

Obama and Putin have also sparred over new anti-gay laws in Russia that threaten fines and imprisonment for those who participate in gay rights parades. On Thursday, Rhodes confirmed Obama would meet with LGBT activists while at the summit.

"Given our serious concerns with some of the recent laws that have been passed and restrictions on activity for gays and lesbians within Russia, we felt it was important to ensure that we were including their voices in a discussion with the president," he said.

http://thehill.com/video/in-the-news/320397-obama-putin-chat-for-15-seconds-at-g-20-summit#ixzz2e25gjsnu 
5/9/13
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  • Russie-Etats-Unis : "Le monde de la guerre froide était très différent d'aujourd'hui".....La tension est à son comble entre Moscou et Washington, alors que le G20 s'ouvre à Saint-Pétersbourg. Est-ce une raison pour parler de "guerre froide" ? Analyse....

"Ouverture du G20 dans un climat de guerre froide", "Le G20 s'ouvre sur fond de guerre froide". Les titres du Monde et du Figaro montrent bien que l’expression revient à la mode pour évoquer les tensions entre la Russie et les Etats-Unis. Des frictions bien réelles, puisque le protocole du G20 a été bouleversé pour éviter que les deux dirigeants ne se retrouvent à la même table.

Francetv info a demandé à Pierre Melandri, historien spécialiste des Etats-Unis, si l'on pouvait réellement comparer la situation actuelle à la période d'hostilité qui a opposé Soviétiques et Américains jusqu'en 1989.

Francetv info : A-t-on raison de parler de guerre froide entre les Etats-Unis et la Russie ?

Pierre Melandri : A cette époque, les Etats-Unis et la Russie s'affrontaient dans le cadre d’un système bipolaire et la crainte était toujours latente de voir une crise déboucher sur un conflit nucléaire. Le monde dans lequel on vit aujourd'hui est très différent. Mais il ne fait aucun doute que la période actuelle est une période de tensions, alimentées par des oppositions sur divers dossiers et, évidemment, exacerbée par les répercussions médiatiques de l'affaire Snowden.

Les Russes ont toujours considéré qu’ils avaient eux-mêmes décidé de mettre un terme à la guerre froide. Et ils ont éprouvé un certain ressentiment quand, après une sorte de "lune de miel" qui a duré jusqu’à l’automne 1993, ils ont découvert que Washington estimait l’avoir gagnée – et qu’ils avaient perdu leur statut d’interlocuteur privilégié des Etats-Unis. Ils se sont rendus compte qu'ils allaient devoir lutter pour continuer à être traités par les Etats-Unis comme une grande puissance. Ils ont été particulièrement sensibles au fait que les Américains ont géré seuls le premier élargissement de l’Otan, ainsi que la guerre du Kosovo, déclarée sans mandat de l’ONU. Aujourd'hui, Vladimir Poutine entend avant tout restaurer l’image de grande puissance de son pays. Il sait qu’il ne peut pas imposer sa vision du monde, mais il lui semble difficile d’accepter que d’autres puissent le faire.....http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/g20/russie-etats-unis-le-monde-de-la-guerre-froide-etait-tres-different-d-aujourd-hui_404627.html#xtor=RSS-3-[lestitres]
5/9/13
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  • Δείπνο ισχυρών για τη Συρία. -Πρόταση Πούτιν στη G20.


Και επισήμως στην ατζέντα των G20, που συνέρχονται σήμερα και αύριο στην Αγία Πετρούπολη μπήκε το θέμα της Συρίας και τα σχέδια επίθεσης εναντίον της. Ο οικοδεσπότης της Συνόδου Βλαντίμιρ Πούτιν πρότεινε οι χώρες μέλη της G20 να συζητήσουν στη διάρκεια του δείπνου τη συριακή κρίση, αποδεχόμενος κατ' αυτό τον τρόπο να τεθεί επισήμως το θέμα που ούτως ή άλλως θα κυριαρχούσε στη Σύνοδο όπως είχε διαφανεί από τοποθετήσεις ηγετών.

Κάποιοι συμμετέχοντες μου ζήτησαν να δώσω τον χρόνο και τη δυνατότητα να συζητηθούν και άλλα πολύ επείγοντα θέματα διεθνούς πολιτικής, κυρίως η κατάσταση στη Συρία. Πρότεινα αυτό να γίνει στη διάρκεια του δείπνου”, δήλωσε ο Ρώσος πρόεδρος, ο οποίος έχει ταχθεί κατά μιας επέμβασης χωρίς πραγματικό έρεισμα και αποδείξεις για τις κατηγορίες που οι ΗΠΑ και άλλες χώρες της Δύσης αποδίδουν στον Μπασάρ αλ Άσαντ για χρήση χημικών όπλων.

Την Τετάρτη σε συνέντευξή του στο Associated Press και το Κρατικό Κανάλι 1 της Ρωσίας διαμήνυσε ότι οποιαδήποτε στρατιωτική δράση κατά της Συρίας χωρίς την έγκριση του ΟΗΕ θα αποτελεί επιθετική κίνηση. Ωστόσο διευκρίνισε πως “η Ρωσία θα στηρίξει μια απόφαση του Οργανισμού εφόσον αποδειχθεί πέραν πάσης αμφιβολίας ότι το καθεστώς Άσαντ έκανε χρήση χημικών όπλων”. 

  • Ο ίδιος νωρίτερα υποδέχθηκε τον Μπαράκ Ομπάμα στο κτίριο όπου διεξάγεται η Σύνοδος.

 Οι δυο τους αντάλλαξαν μια σύντομη χειραψία και κατευθύνθηκαν γρήγορα προς το εσωτερικό του κτιρίου. 

  • Σύμφωνα, δε, με πληροφορίες της βρετανικής Daily Mail οι Ρώσοι άλλαξαν την τελευταία στιγμή τη διάταξη των θέσεων των ηγετών στη Σύνοδο, ώστε να υπάρχει απόσταση μεταξύ Πούτιν και Ομπάμα.
Newsroom Enet
enet.gr
5/9/13
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Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

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