Archive for the ‘Europeans’ Category

World Leaders Agree to Seek Major Economic Reform

November 16, 2008

Group of 20 In Wasshington DC Pledges Cooperation to Restore Growth
World leaders holding an emergency meeting to combat the economic crisis agreed yesterday to a far-reaching action plan that, over the next 4 1/2 months, would begin to reshape international financial institutions and reform worldwide regulatory and accounting rules. 

By Glenn Kessler and Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, November 16, 2008; Page A01

The leaders’ 11-page statement spoke of broad principles, leaving the details to be worked out by lower-level aides before another summit meeting in April, after Barack Obama assumes the presidency. But the gathering in Washington of the nearly two dozen nations — from every region of the world — reflected the new balance of power emerging in the aftermath of a financial crisis that has devastated even well-run economies, a wrenching process that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has dubbed “the birth pangs of this new global order.”

World leaders pose for the group photo on Saturday, Nov. 15, ...

World leaders pose for the group photo on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008, in Washington. President Bush invited leaders of the G-20 community to Washington for a weekend summit to discuss the world economy and the current condition of the financial markets.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Vladimir Rodionov, Presidential Press Service)

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World Leaders Quick to Press Obama on Foreign Policy

November 13, 2008

Many in the world are ready and eager for change which was promised by Barack Obama and validated by the Amerian voter.  Now world leadersd have lots of ideas for Mr. Obama on what change means to them….

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivers a speech in Cannes, ...
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivers a speech in Cannes, southern France, during a meeting gathering business people, ahead of a Russia-EU summit in nearby Nice on November 14.(AFP/Valery Hache)

By Helene Cooper
The New York Times

The Russians want him to hold off installation of a missile defense shield in Poland. The Europeans want him to renounce the idea of “regime change” when it comes to Iran, while the Israelis want to be sure he doesn’t give Iran a pass when it comes to nuclear weapons.

Oh, and let’s not forget the Taliban, which issued a statement this week urging him to “put an end to all the policies being followed by his Opposition Party, the Republicans, and pull out U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.”

There’s a world of advice out there for President-elect Barack Obama. Within minutes of his election on Nov. 4, the calls from foreign governments began, Obama aides say, and they haven’t stopped.

While the first telephone exchanges between Mr. Obama and foreign leaders were limited to pledges of future cooperation and invitations to visit, those leaders and their underlings have also been contacting Mr. Obama’s advisers and their surrogates with suggestions for how an Obama administration should conduct, and change, American foreign policy.

There are also signs that some foreign governments are moving to alter the playing field even before Mr. Obama takes office. On Wednesday alone, North Korea said it would not allow outside inspectors to take soil samples from its main nuclear complex; Iran successfully tested a new long-range missile reportedly capable of reaching southeastern Europe; and Russia rejected an American proposal meant to assuage Russian fears over the planned missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The foreign bombardment is normal during any presidential transition, but is accelerated in this case, foreign policy experts said, because of the historic nature of Mr. Obama’s election and the sharply different course that world leaders expect him to pursue in American foreign policy.

“We have heard a lot of important ideas from our friends and allies,” said Denis McDonough, a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Obama. “We consider them closely in an effort to be a partner that listens, as the President-elect shapes his agenda to advance U.S. interests from his first day in office.” But until Inauguration Day, Mr. McDonough said, the Obama team will be in a listen-only mode.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks at the Elysee Palace ...
French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday that Russia and the European Union will “speak with one voice” on the financial crisis at a summit this weekend, on the eve of crunch talks with EU leaders.(AFP/Pool/Gerard Cerles)

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Why Europeans Love Obama

October 20, 2008

By Beth Arnold
Der Spiegel (Germany)

French provocateur Bernard-Henri Lévy on how the left is being destroyed by tolerance — and the Europeans’ fascination with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.


"I don't love him ... I wish him to be elected."


Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina: “I don’t love him … I wish him to be elected.”


Since he began his career 35 years ago, self-described leftist, philosopher and journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy has never been caught without a cause or opinion. He has flamboyantly articulated these in more than 30 books (including the much discussed “American Vertigo”), countless television appearances, articles and even films that he’s written, produced, directed and/or narrated. Lévy is a kind of intellectual Robin Hood, going where there is totalitarianism and/or war. He has been a passionate advocate of Bosnia, smuggled himself into Darfur to report on the Sudanese genocide and followed the perilous trail of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl into Pakistan to write the New York Times bestseller “Who Killed Daniel Pearl?”

Lévy is a showman — his narcissism is legendary — which adds fuel to the fire of his critics, who accuse him of lacking original ideas. Known in France as BHL, Lévy is his own wildly successful brand. He wears the mantle of polarizing intellectual quite happily along with made-to-measure clothing from French house Charvet, which also made shirts for JFK and Marcel Proust. He was recently quoted in the New York Times’ T Magazine men’s fall fashion supplement saying he had no interest in his bespoke apparel or even talking about it — though he had clearly agreed to this fashion profile, which was set in Bosnia, where he was screening two documentaries he had shot there and attending a children’s festival partly financed by his family foundation.

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New Europe, Old Russia

February 6, 2008

 By Robert Kagan
The Washington Post
Wednesday, February 6, 2008; Page A19

Russia and the European Union are neighbors geographically. But geopolitically they live in different centuries. A 21st-century European Union, with its noble ambition to transcend power politics and build an order based on laws and institutions, confronts a Russia that behaves like a traditional 19th-century power. Both are shaped by their histories. The supranational, legalistic E.U. spirit is a response to the conflicts of the 20th century, when nationalism and power politics twice destroyed the continent. But Vladimir Putin‘s Russia, as Ivan Krastev has noted, is driven in part by the perceived failure of “post-national politics” after the Soviet collapse. Europe‘s nightmares are the 1930s; Russia’s nightmares are the 1990s. Europe sees the answer to its problems in transcending the nation-state and power. For Russians, the solution is in restoring them.

So what happens when a 21st-century entity faces the challenge of a 19th-century power? The contours of the conflict are already emerging — in diplomatic stand-offs over Kosovo, Ukraine, Georgia and Estonia; in conflicts over gas and oil pipelines; in nasty diplomatic exchanges between Russia and Britain; and in a return to Russian military exercises of a kind not seen since the Cold War.

Europeans are apprehensive, with good reason.

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Gates warns Russia against break with arms treaties

October 13, 2007

By Jim Mannion
October 13, 2007

RAF MILDENHALL, England (AFP) – US Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Saturday that Russia will hurt its position in Europe if it unilaterally breaks with a treaty limiting the deployment of conventional forces in Europe.

“My own view is that the Europeans are beginning to wonder what the Russians are all about,” he told reporters.

“And I think it would be frankly harmful to Russia’s interests in Europe to unilaterally suspend or withdraw from this treaty, in terms of the sense of security and reassurance in Europe of the predictability of the future.”

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