First Lady Michelle Obama watches performers dance on the City Wall in Xian, in China’s central Shaanxi province, March 24
AFP: Obama Vows Western Unity Ahead Of Ukraine Crisis Summit
President Barack Obama on Monday vowed Western unity in punishing Moscow for annexing Crimea, ahead of crisis talks that could see Russia excluded from the G8 club of rich nations. In Ukraine itself, the country’s acting president announced that its troops had been given orders to withdraw from Crimea after the fall of another military base to Kremlin troops. “Europe and America are united in our support of the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people, we’re united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far,” Obama told journalists at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Obama then headed to The Hague where he has called an emergency Group of Seven summit to discuss what steps to take in the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) for what may be their most tense talks to date. It will be their first meeting since Washington imposed financial restrictions on the most powerful members of Putin’s inner circle for their decision to resort to force in response to the fall of Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin regime after three months of sometimes deadly protests. Kerry has already warned that Moscow risks losing its coveted place among the G8 because of the Crimea crisis. British Prime Minister David Cameron said leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — minus current G8 chair Russia — must discuss the permanent expulsion of Russia from the group, which it was admitted to in 1998 as a reward for choosing a democratic post-Soviet course.
President Barack Obama, right, is greeted by Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, left, upon arrival at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, Netherlands
President Barack Obama and Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans greet dignitaries upon arrival at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, Netherlands
President Barack Obama is silhouetted as he walks towards the Marine One helicopter upon arriving at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping take their seats before a meeting, held on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit, in The Hague. President Obama, who has imposed tougher sanctions on Moscow than European leaders over its seizure of the Black Sea peninsula, will seek support for his firm line at a meeting with other leaders of the G7
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, shakes hands. President Obama is attending the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, which will form the backdrop for an emergency meeting of Group of Seven leaders on Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice and members of President Barack Obama’s delegation stand beneath a painting by Bartholomeus van der Helst, as President Obama speaks at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
President Barack Obama and Mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan, look at a guest book during a visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Rijksmuseum director Wim Pijbes tells President Barack Obama and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, where to stand in front of Dutch master Rembrandt’s The Night Watch painting during a visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands
President Barack Obama and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, look at the Act of Abjuration during a visit at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands
TPM: Zuckerberg Calls Obama To Discuss ‘Frustration’ With NSA Surveillance
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday that he phoned President Obama to urge reforms to the government’s surveillance practices. “The US government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat. They need to be much more transparent about what they’re doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst,”Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “I’ve called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform.”