This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
President-Election Barack Obama faces a long list of foreign policy issues when
he takes office on January twentieth. Two wars. Nuclear worries over Iran. The
threat of terrorism. New tensions with
Russia. These are in addition to a financial crisis.
Tuesday, Mister Obama won a solid election victory to become America's
forty-fourth president, and first black president. World leaders sent their
congratulations, including the president of Iran.
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev announced plans to put missiles near Poland. He
said they would be used, if necessary, to neutralize an American
missile-defense system proposed in Poland and the Czech Republic.
administration says the system is needed to defend against missiles from countries
like Iran, and is not aimed at Russia. The State Department's top arms control
official expects to discuss new proposals to ease Russian concerns later this
month in Moscow.
Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice arrived Thursday in the Middle East in an effort to continue the peace
process begun a year ago. Israeli and Palestinian officials have set a goal to
reach a peace agreement by the end of this year. But that now appears unlikely as
Israel prepares for new elections in February.
In his acceptance speech Tuesday night, the
president-elect promised a "new dawn of American leadership."
BARACK OBAMA: "To those who would tear this world
down -- we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security -- we support
you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as
bright -- tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation
comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the
enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding
During the campaign, Barack Obama called for
withdrawing American fighting forces from Iraq within sixteen months in
office. Iraq and the United States have
struggled to negotiate an agreement to govern the presence of American troops after
this year. The Bush administration has just sent what it says is a final
version for the Iraqis to approve. The proposed agreement would let American
forces remain in Iraq for as long as three more years.
Mister Obama wants to send more American
troops to deal with growing threats in Afghanistan. But Afghan President Hamid Karzai
called on Mister Obama to end civilian casualties. "We cannot win the
fight against terrorism with airstrikes," he said. And Pakistan called for
an end to missile strikes in its territory.
election has received a huge amount of attention in the United States. In fact, some people said it felt like the
world was voting for Barack Obama. But the proudest celebrations took place in
Africa. Mister Obama's father was Kenyan and he has family members who live in
that country. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki declared Thursday a public holiday.
that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.