Speaking to reporters at his first public appearance since assuming his new position as NATO's secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen outlined his priorities on August 3 for reporters. Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark, told reporters that NATO troops would help prevent Afghanistan from "becoming again a grand central station of international terrorism."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on July 24 that the United States has given $200 million to help the operations of the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority (PA).
Breaking the silence masking an almost unanimous consensus among U.S. government leaders in support of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, a group of U.S. senators have made public statements asking the Obama administration to look at both sides of the power struggle between Zelaya and newly appointed President Roberto Micheletti.
President Barack Obama met with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on May 6, in what has been described as an attempt by the U.S. president to forge greater cooperation amongst America’s allies in the war against al-Qaeda terrorists.
Speaking to reporters while standing alongside Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon in Mexico City on April 16, President Barack Obama said he would push the U.S. Senate to ratify a treaty called the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials. The convention, known by Spanish acronym CIFTA, was by inter-American countries including the United States in 1997 and then submitted the following year to the U.S. Senate for ratification. Like all treaties, it would require a two-thirds majority (67 votes) in the upper house to secure ratification.
The White House announced on April 13 that the Obama administration will ease U.S. restrictions on dealings with Cuba, including allowing unlimited travel and money transfers by Cuban Americans to family in Cuba. The news had been leaked earlier in the day by a senior administration official, who told news agencies such as the Associated Press and AFP on condition of anonymity, "Restrictions on the families will be lifted." A formal announcement was made at the White House in the afternoon, during presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs' daily briefing with reporters.
Todd Stern, the Obama administration's special envoy for climate change, told representatives of 175 nations in Bonn, Germany, on March 29, that global warming "requires a global response" and that rapidly developing economies like China "must join together" with industrialized nations to solve the problem.
Following a series of informal discussions held in Brussels over the preceding weekend, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke met with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the 26 NATO ambassadors at the Brussels Forum on March 23. The prime focus of the talks was NATO's strategy for Afghanistan. Holbrooke gave participants a preview of U.S. plans for continuing the ongoing military operation there.
The UN's "Special Rapporteur on Torture," Manfred Nowak, in a message recorded on January 20 for broadcast that evening on Germany's ZDF television, urged the United States to bring charges against former President George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for torture and bad treatment of prisoners held at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. "Judicially speaking, the United States has a clear obligation" to bring proceedings against Bush and Rumsfeld, said Nowak.
Vice President-elect Joseph Biden arrived in Baghdad on January 12 for an unannounced visit. It was part of a three-nation Asian tour for the vice president-elect, who visited Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The trip provided further confirmation that the incoming Obama administration intends to pursue an interventionist foreign policy — allying ourselves with Pakistan in our war against terrorism despite the fact that Pakistan is far from a paragon of human rights and "democracy"; supporting the planned U.S. military buildup in Afghanistan that basically entails shifting the war in Iraq to a new theater; and staying engaged in Iraq, a country that Biden once proposed dividing into three parts.