White House weighs in on rising Turkey and Syria tensions
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the lawmakers of his Justice and Development Party at the parliament in Ankara. (PHOTO CREDIT: AFP)
June 26th, 2012
01:00 PM ET

White House weighs in on rising Turkey and Syria tensions

(CNN)–White House spokesman Jay Carney Tuesday condemned Syria's shoot down of a Turkish military plane last week calling the action "unacceptable". Speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One as the president traveled to campaign events in Georgia and Florida, Carney commended Turkey for what he called its "measured" response.
Carney said the United States stands by Turkey and its allies and will work with Turkey to hold Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime accountable. The incident, which occurred last Friday when the Turkish Phantom F-4 was shot down as it flew over Syrian waters, raised even more tension between Turkey and Syria, two heavily armed regional powers.
Carney said Syrians have, in his words, paid for Assad's "hubris and lies" and the spokesman again called for the international community to come together to remove the dictator.
But asked about Syria's regional ally Russia which has been resistant to backing Assad's removal, Carney would only say the United States has had "productive" conversations with Russia and admitted the two countries have "differed" on how to handle the growing violence in Syria

Topics: Jay Carney • NATO • Russia • Syria
June 18th, 2012
03:51 PM ET

G-20 nations must 'do what's necessary' to boost world economy, Obama says


Los Cabos, Mexico (CNN) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday welcomed the results of the Greek election as he prepared to join other world leaders at a summit aimed at boosting a sluggish global economic recovery.

Officially, the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, will largely focus on one of the primary causes of the recovery's lethargy - the threat of a European currency collapse that would roil the already fragile economies of most of the 17 countries that use the euro.

"The world is concerned about the slowing of growth that has taken place," Obama said Monday before the start of the summit, following one-on-one-talks with host President Felipe Calderon of Mexico. " A lot of attention has been centered on Europe. Now is the time, as we've discussed, to make sure that all of us join to do what's necessary to stabilize the world financial system, to avoid protectionism, to ensure that we are working hand-in-hand to both grow the economy and create jobs while taking a responsible approach long term and medium term towards our fiscal structures."

However, the summit was not expected to produce concrete commitments, and European Union President Jose Manuel Barroso made clear Monday that European nations were not there to be lectured on how to proceed.

"This crisis was not originated in Europe. .... This crisis was originated in North America," Barroso said. "And many of our financial sector were contaminated by - how can I put it - unorthodox practice from some sectors of the financial market. But we are not putting the blame on our partners. What we are saying is let's work together when we have a global problem like the one we have today. "


Topics: G-20 • President Obama • Russia • Syria
Obama-Putin scheduling conflicts
May 14th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Obama-Putin scheduling conflicts

Although the White House has said they have a "mutual commitment" to strengthening the relationship between the U.S and Russia, neither leader will visit the other on their turf in the summits that each country is hosting in the next several months.

The White House confirmed on Monday that President Obama will not be attending the APEC summit in Russia in November.

This after a phone conversation last week, where President Putin told Obama he wouldn't be able to attend the upcoming G8 Summit at Camp David because he was still forming his government and getting settled back into the role of Russian president.  President Obama said he understood and looked forward to meeting with former President and current Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev during the summit.

The two leaders will eventually meet at the G20 summit in Mexico in June and have their first face-to-face meeting since Putin was elected president for the second time. They previously met in 2009 when Putin was the prime minister and Obama visited Moscow to sign a preliminary agreement for nuclear arms reduction along-side of then-President Medvedev.

But the White House says not to read anything into the scheduling no-shows.

"The fact of the matter is we have a comprehensive relationship with Russia that's built on working together in areas where we agree and that has borne significant successes, that approach, and then be very clear about where we disagree but not letting those disagreements undermine the overall relationship," Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One on the way to New York City for the Barnard College commencement. "And that was true under President Medvedev when Vladimir Putin was prime minister, and it will continue to be true now that Mr. Putin has returned to the presidency and Mr. Medvedev is now prime minister."

Topics: G-8 • Russia • Vladimir Putin