VPOTUS Travels to Romania & Cyprus

#BidenInRomania
 vp_jbiden_Cyprus


Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden travel to Romania and Cyprus from May 20-23, 2014

The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden will travel to Romania and Cyprus from May 20-23, 2014. The Vice President will discuss with the leadership of both countries the international community’s response to Russia’s illegal military intervention and destabilizing actions in Ukraine. The Vice President will also address the need to deepen economic ties, including through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP); to recommit to strengthening democratic institutions across the region; and to undertake a sustained and collective effort to bolster Europe’s energy security.

In Bucharest, the Vice President will meet with Romanian President Băsescu and Prime Minister Ponta. He will also deliver remarks to Romanian civil society and youth leaders, and will meet with American and Romanian troops conducting a joint capacity-building exercise. The Vice President will underscore the United States’ ironclad commitment to the collective defense of NATO under Article 5, and express appreciation for Romania’s contributions to regional and global security.

At the invitation of President Anastasiades, the Vice President will visit Cyprus, where he will meet with political leaders from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, civil society representatives, and faith leaders. The Vice President will emphasize the United States’ strong support for a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality. The Vice President will urge all parties on the island to intensify their work on behalf of peace and security in the region, and stress the important role that all citizens can play in promoting mutual understanding between the two communities.

Background Press Briefing by Senior Administration Officials on the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden’s Trip to Romania and Cyprus

US – EU Trade Agreement

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US-Romania Bilateral Fact Sheet

FACT SHEET: Overview of NATO and Bilateral Reassurance Measures in Romania

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP)

 

Vice President Biden’s Itinerary

Romania

Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden arrive in Romania
Otopeni Military Airport, Bucharest, Romania

Vice President Biden meets with American and Romanian troops conducting a joint capacity-building exercise
Otopeni Military Airport, Bucharest, Romania

Vice President Biden meets with Romanian President Băsescu
Bucharest, Romania

President Joe Biden and Romanian President Traian Basescu deliver a Joint Press Statement
Bucharest, Romania

Vice President Biden meets with Romanian Prime Minister Ponta
Bucharest, Romania

Vice President Biden and Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta deliver a Joint Press Statement
Bucharest, Romania

Vice President Biden  delivers remarks to Romanian civil society and youth leaders
Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Jill Biden and Mrs. Maria Basescu, the Romanian First Lady, visits the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum
Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Jill Biden visits a Romanian NGO that works with victims of trafficking in persons
Bucharest, Romania

Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden depart Romania for Cyprus

.

Cyprus

Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden arrive in Cyprus
Larnaca International Airport, Larnaca, Cyprus

Vice President Biden is welcomed by Cypriot Foreign Minister Kasoulides
Larnaca International Airport, Larnaca, Cyprus

Vice President Biden deliver a statement
Larnaca International Airport, Larnaca, Cyprus

Vice President Biden meets with Cypriot political leaders from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, civil society representatives, and faith leaders
Greek Orthodox Archbishopric, Larnaca, Cyprus

Vice President Biden and Cypriot President Anastasiades hold a bilateral meeting
Presidential Palace, Nicosia, Cyprus

Vice President Biden and Cypriot President Anastasiades deliver a Joint Press Statement
Presidential Palace, Nicosia, Cyprus

Cypriot President Anastasiades hosts an official lunch for Vice President Biden, Cypriot cabinet and party leaders, Cypriot former presidents and former Cypriot speakers of the house, and other Cypriot politicians

Vice President Biden visits the U.S. Embassy to honor the memory of Ambassador Rodger Davies and local employee Antoinette “Toni” Varnavas
U.S. Embassy, Nicosia, Cyprus

Dr. Jill Biden and the First Lady of Cyprus, Andreana Anastasiades, visits the village of Lefkara
Nicosia, Cyprus

Vice President Biden visits the demilitarised zone U.N. Buffer Zone
Nicosia, Cyprus

Dr. Jill Biden and First Lady of Cyprus, Andreana Anastasiades, visits the U.N. Buffer Zone
Nicosia, Cyprus

Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden return to Washington DC

Obama_Biden_thumbnail
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44 Responses to VPOTUS Travels to Romania & Cyprus

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Monday, May 19, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    President Obama hosts a luncheon for Combatant Commanders and Military Leadership
    Roosevelt Room

    1:00 PM
    Press Briefing by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    President Obama visits with Little League teams
    Friendship Park, Washington DC

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:30 PM
    President Obama attends a DCCC event
    Private residence, Maryland

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden depart for Bucharest, Romania

  2. CR says:

    VPOTUS Travels to Romania & Cyprus

    Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden travel to Romania and Cyprus from May 20-23, 2014

    The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden will travel to Romania and Cyprus from May 20-23, 2014. The Vice President will discuss with the leadership of both countries the international community’s response to Russia’s illegal military intervention and destabilizing actions in Ukraine. The Vice President will also address the need to deepen economic ties, including through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP); to recommit to strengthening democratic institutions across the region; and to undertake a sustained and collective effort to bolster Europe’s energy security.

    In Bucharest, the Vice President will meet with Romanian President Băsescu and Prime Minister Ponta. He will also deliver remarks to Romanian civil society and youth leaders, and will meet with American and Romanian troops conducting a joint capacity-building exercise. The Vice President will underscore the United States’ ironclad commitment to the collective defense of NATO under Article 5, and express appreciation for Romania’s contributions to regional and global security.

    At the invitation of President Anastasiades, the Vice President will visit Cyprus, where he will meet with political leaders from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, civil society representatives, and faith leaders. The Vice President will emphasize the United States’ strong support for a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality. The Vice President will urge all parties on the island to intensify their work on behalf of peace and security in the region, and stress the important role that all citizens can play in promoting mutual understanding between the two communities.

    • CR says:

      Vice President Biden’s Itinerary

      http://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/us-romania-flags.jpg?w=450

      Romania

      Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden arrive in Romania

      Vice President Biden meets with American and Romanian troops conducting a joint capacity-building exercise
      Otopeni Military Airport, Bucharest, Romania

      Vice President Biden meets with Romanian President Băsescu
      Bucharest, Romania

      President Joe Biden and Romanian President Traian Basescu deliver a Joint Press Statement
      Bucharest, Romania

      Vice President Biden meets with Romanian Prime Minister Ponta
      Bucharest, Romania

      Vice President Biden and Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta deliver a Joint Press Statement
      Bucharest, Romania

      Vice President Biden delivers remarks to Romanian civil society and youth leaders
      Bucharest, Romania

      Dr. Jill Biden and Mrs. Maria Basescu, the Romanian First Lady, visits the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum
      Bucharest, Romania

      Dr. Jill Biden visits a Romanian NGO that works with victims of trafficking in persons
      Bucharest, Romania

      Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden depart Romania for Cyprus

      http://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/usa-cypress-flags-e1400520440381.jpg?w=450
      Cyprus

      Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden arrive in Cyprus

      Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden arrive in Cyprus
      Larnaca International Airport, Larnaca, Cyprus

      Vice President Biden is welcomed by Cypriot Foreign Minister Kasoulides
      Larnaca International Airport, Larnaca, Cyprus

      Vice President Biden delivers a statement
      Larnaca International Airport, Larnaca, Cyprus

      Vice President Biden meets with Cypriot political leaders from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, civil society representatives, and faith leaders
      Greek Orthodox Archbishopric, Larnaca, Cyprus

      Vice President Biden and Cypriot President Anastasiades hold a bilateral meeting
      Presidential Palace, Nicosia, Cyprus

      Vice President Biden and Cypriot President Anastasiades deliver a Joint Press Statement
      Presidential Palace, Nicosia, Cyprus

      Cypriot President Anastasiades hosts an official lunch for Vice President Biden, Cypriot cabinet and party leaders, Cypriot former presidents and former Cypriot speakers of the house, and other Cypriot politicians

      Vice President Biden visits the U.S. Embassy to honor the memory of Ambassador Rodger Davies and local employee Antoinette “Toni” Varnavas
      U.S. Embassy, Nicosia, Cyprus

      Dr. Jill Biden and the First Lady of Cyprus, Andreana Anastasiades, visits the village of Lefkara
      Nicosia, Cyprus

      Vice President Biden visits the demilitarised zone U.N. Buffer Zone
      Nicosia, Cyprus

      Dr. Jill Biden and First Lady of Cyprus, Andreana Anastasiades, visits the U.N. Buffer Zone
      Nicosia, Cyprus

      Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden return to Washington DC

    • CR says:

      UPDATE Meetings degree zero in Bucharest : U.S. Vice President and head of the Pentagon , met with Basescu and Ponta

      12 mai 2014, 12:08 adev.ro

       U.S. Vice President Joe Biden , will come next week in Bucharest to discuss with President Traian Basescu and Prime Minister Victor Ponta including the situation in Ukraine, official sources told Mediafax .

      UPDATE 19.10 U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden will pay visits to Romania and Cyprus 20-23 May, mainly to discuss the crisis in Ukraine , according to the White House, quoted by AFP .

      During this short meeting Vice President Biden will discuss with leaders of the two countries about the international community’s response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine illegal and destabilizing actions ” of Moscow , says the U.S. presidency .

      Vice President Biden will also discuss the need to deepen economic ties with Romania and R.Cipru , especially in the U.S. Free Trade Agreement – EU , currently under negotiation, the White House continues .

      Motivation official U.S. president’s visit to Bucharest Romania focuses on support in the current regional context , where the crisis in Ukraine has led to new security challenges for countries in the eastern flank of NATO .

      There have been discussions to organize a summit between Romania and the United States before the crisis in Ukraine, but recent events have accelerated this meeting , sources quoted revealed Tuesday.

      Joe Biden ‘s visit to Romania is scheduled at this time for next weekend without having been officially announced in the idea of any change of cutting edge program and would form part of a series of short talks and with officials from other countries in the region.

      For more: adev.ro/n5gfqr

    • CR says:

      On Board: Travels with the Vice President in Romania, “Carpathian Spring”

      Published on May 20, 2014

      Go on board with the Vice President in Romania as he tours the military exercise “Carpathian Spring”, greets the joint U.S. and Romanian participants and speaks on the international community’s response to Russia’s illegal military intervention and destabilzing actions in Ukraine underscoring the United States’ ironclad commitment to the collective defense of NATO under Article 5 while expressing appreciation for Romania’s contributions to regional and global security. http://www.whitehouse.gov

    • CR says:

      Russian GDP Growth Slows as Investment Sags on Sanctions

      May 15, 2014 7:25 AM PT By Olga Tanas – bloomberg

      Russia’s first-quarter economic growth slowed to the weakest in a year as the standoff against the U.S. and its allies over Ukraine shrivels up investment.

      Gross domestic product advanced 0.9 percent in January-March from a year earlier after a 2 percent gain in the previous quarter, the Moscow-based Federal Statistics Service said in an e-mailed statement, providing its first estimate of first-quarter GDP. That was above the 0.7 percent median estimate of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey. The Economy Ministry had projected that output expanded 0.8 percent.

      President Vladimir Putin’s move to absorb Crimea in March prompted U.S. and European Union sanctions, bringing the already slowing $2 trillion economy to a near standstill. The International Monetary Fund said April 30 that Russia is already in recession as U.S. and EU leaders warn that they are ready to take further measures if Ukraine’s May 25 presidential election is disrupted.

      “Clearly the general trend is slowing economic growth,” Vladimir Bragin, head of research at Alfa Capital Partners Ltd. in Moscow, said by e-mail. “It’s evident in consumption, including through slower lending, and in investment, which has decelerated after the completion of large investment projects by state companies, as well as the completion of construction in Sochi.”

      The ruble has weakened more than 5 percent this year against the dollar, the second-worst performance among 24 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg after Argentina’s peso. The Russian currency traded little changed at 34.7380 per dollar as of 5:50 p.m. in Moscow.

      For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-15/russian-gdp-growth-slows-as-investment-sags-on-sanctions.html

    • CR says:

      Russian Holdings of U.S. Treasuries Dropped 20% in March

      May 15, 2014 7:50 AM PT By Kasia Klimasinska – bloomberg

      Russia’s holdings of U.S. government securities fell by 20 percent in March as the U.S. and Europe stepped up pressure against Russia and as analysts said the nation’s central bank tried to shore up the value of the ruble.

      Russian holdings declined for a fifth straight month, to $100.4 billion from $126.2 billion in February, according to figures released today by the Treasury Department in Washington. The department doesn’t provide explanations for the moves.

      “Some of these Russian holdings might have been used for intervention” to support the currency, said Gennadiy Goldberg, a U.S. strategist at TD Securities USA LLC in New York. “It’s also possible that they simply shifted them from holding them under their own name to a custodial account in Belgium.”

      The U.S. has frozen the assets of 45 individuals, including OAO Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin, and 19 entities, such as SMP Bank and Bank Rossiya, in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The Obama administration and its European allies have threatened broader economic penalties, with the U.S. pointing to the banking industry as a possible target.

      The Russian currency has lost more than 5 percent this year against the dollar, making it the worst performer among emerging markets after the Argentine peso. The monetary authorities were probably selling Treasuries to obtain dollars to buy rubles, analysts said.

      For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-15/russian-holdings-of-u-s-treasuries-declined-by-20-in-march.html

  3. CR says:

    Obama to Name San Antonio Mayor to HUD Post in Reshuffle

    May 17, 2014 2:45 PM PT By Mike Dorning and Alan Bjerga – bloomberg

    Julian Castro is in his third term as San Antonio’s mayor.

    San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will be nominated to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, part of an administration reshuffling that would bring a Democratic up-and-comer to President Barack Obama’s cabinet, according to two people familiar with the decision.

    Castro, 39, is Obama’s choice to take the position held by Shaun Donovan, HUD secretary since the president’s first week in office, the people said today. Donovan, 48, will be named to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget, they said. The announcements may come next week, one of the persons said.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-17/obama-to-name-san-antonio-mayor-to-hud-post-in-cabinet-reshuffle.html

  4. CR says:

    The State of Our Climate: A Google+ Hangout with Secretary Moniz and Administrator McCarthy

    Alex Wall May 14, 2014 11:19 AM EDT

    Climate change is not a distant threat – it’s affecting us right now. That’s why earlier this month, as part of President Obama’s plan to act on climate change, the Administration released the third National Climate Assessment, which breaks down the current and projected impacts of climate change on every region of the country and key sectors of our economy.

    On Monday, May 19 at 1:00 p.m. ET, join the website Grist.org, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and the White House for a Google+ Hangout. We’ll be chatting about climate change and the steps we’re taking to reduce carbon pollution, prepare for the impacts of climate change, and build a clean energy economy – including an upcoming rule that would cut carbon pollution from existing power plants.

    Have questions? Secretary Moniz and Administrator McCarthy will answer them during the event. Ask using the hashtag #WHClimateChat on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

    Watch the Hangout live at 1:00 p.m. ET on Monday, May 19 on the White House Google+ page.

    To learn more, check out the latest on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

  5. CR says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama, The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Department of Education, and the National Association of Music Merchants to Highlight the Importance of Arts Education

    A White House Talent Show, Capitol Hill Fly-in, and D.C. School Event will Showcase the Connection Between the Arts and Student Achievement

    5/15/14 PR Newswire

    WASHINGTON, May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — First Lady Michelle Obama, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), the U.S. Department of Education, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) and a number of top performers and artists will participate in a series of events next week to showcase the importance of arts and music education to student achievement. The events will spotlight the Turnaround Arts initiative, a successful PCAH pilot program to help turn around low-performing schools, narrow the achievement gap, and increase student engagement through the arts.

    In May 2012, the President’s Committee, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council, launched the Turnaround Arts initiative as a pilot program in eight “turnaround schools” across the country—public schools in the lowest-achieving five percent of their state that are receiving School Improvement Grants through the U.S. Department of Education. Over the last two years, the Turnaround Arts initiative has brought intensive arts education resources and expertise into the pilot schools and worked with school leadership to make the arts a pillar of their reform strategy. Interim evaluation results show that participating schools are demonstrating improved academic performance, increased student and parent engagement and improved culture and climate.

    On Monday, May 19, NAMM will bring House of Payne’s Doc Shaw, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith, former New York Yankee and guitar player Bernie Williams, award-winning folk duo Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, GRAMMY nominated music educator and guitarist Glen McCarthy, drummer Bob Bloom and music industry leaders to Savoy Elementary in Washington, D.C. for a Music Learning Festival. Third, fourth and fifth graders will have the opportunity to play guitar, drums and ukulele with the visiting musicians. Savoy Elementary is one of the eight schools participating in the national Turnaround Arts pilot program.

    On Tuesday, May 20, First Lady Michelle Obama will host students from Turnaround Arts schools across the nation and renowned performers and artists at the first-ever White House talent show. Students will perform and showcase their work at the White House, joined by the Turnaround Artists who have been volunteering with their schools to support their arts education. Artists participating in Tuesday’s White House event include Sarah Jessica Parker*, Chuck Close*, John Lloyd Young*, Damian Woetzel*, George Wolfe*, Alfre Woodard*, Troy Andrews (Trombone Shorty), Cristina Pato, Shane Shanahan and Kojiro Umezaki. Artists in attendance include Kerry James Marshall*, Kal Penn*, Frank Gehry, Clarence Greenwood (Citizen Cope), Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Doc Shaw and Chad Smith. (*PCAH Member)

    On Tuesday evening, NAMM Foundation is hosting a “Celebrating Music Education” reception and dinner at the Library of Congress honoring the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities, Turnaround Arts and Kent Knappenberger, recipient of the GRAMMY Foundation’s Music Educator Award. Prior to the dinner, which will feature performers, artists, members of the President’s Committee, NAMM members and other arts organizations, there will be a red carpet photo opportunity. Invited guests include Alfre Woodard, Chuck Close, Damian Woetzel, John Lloyd Young, Kerry James Marshall, Chad Smith, Clarence Greenwood, Doc Shaw, Bernie Williams and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

    On Wednesday, May 21, NAMM will join with Rep. Suzanne Bonamici of the Congressional STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math) caucus, and several musicians for a Capitol Hill briefing and press conference to highlight the state of music education and the legislative priorities currently needed to offer every child access to comprehensive music education.

    Studies show that when students participate in the arts they are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, have higher GPA/SAT scores, and demonstrate a 56 percent improvement in spatial-temporal IQ scores. They show significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12, are more engaged and cooperative with teachers and peers, and are more self-confident and better able to express their ideas. These benefits are particularly pronounced in high-poverty, low-performing schools.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/next-week-first-lady-michelle-obama-presidents-committee-195100507.html;_ylt=AwrTWfwBeXVTUUcAsyfQtDMD

  6. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Happy and HOPEful Sunday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

  7. CR says:

    The State of Our Climate: A Google+ Hangout with Secretary Moniz and Administrator McCarthy

    Alex Wall May 14, 2014 11:19 AM EDT

    Climate change is not a distant threat – it’s affecting us right now. That’s why earlier this month, as part of President Obama’s plan to act on climate change, the Administration released the third National Climate Assessment, which breaks down the current and projected impacts of climate change on every region of the country and key sectors of our economy.

    On Monday, May 19 at 1:00 p.m. ET, join the website Grist.org, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and the White House for a Google+ Hangout. We’ll be chatting about climate change and the steps we’re taking to reduce carbon pollution, prepare for the impacts of climate change, and build a clean energy economy – including an upcoming rule that would cut carbon pollution from existing power plants.

    Have questions? Secretary Moniz and Administrator McCarthy will answer them during the event. Ask using the hashtag #WHClimateChat on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

    Watch the Hangout live at 1:00 p.m. ET on Monday, May 19 on the White House Google+ page.

    To learn more, check out the latest on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

    • CR says:

      Google+ Hangout: The State of Our Climate

      Published on May 19, 2014

      Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face. On Monday at 1pm ET, join EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and Grist for a #WHClimateChat on the steps we’re taking to reduce carbon pollution, prepare for the impacts of climate change, and build a clean energy economy: http://go.wh.gov/4HHmUE

  8. CR says:

    http://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/rainbow-flag.jpg?w=450

    Judge strikes down Oregon gay marriage ban

    5/19/14 By JONATHAN J. COOPER – Associated Press

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has struck down Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban, saying it is unconstitutional.

    U.S. District Judge Michael McShane threw out the voter-approved ban Monday.

    State officials have said they’d be prepared to carry out same-sex marriages almost immediately, and couples lined up outside the county clerk’s office in Portland in anticipation of the decision.

    Four gay and lesbian couples brought suit arguing Oregon’s marriage laws unconstitutionally discriminate against same-sex couples and exclude them from a fundamental right.

    State officials refused to defend the ban, and McShane earlier denied a request by the National Organization for Marriage to intervene on behalf of its Oregon members.

    An appeals court Monday morning refused the group’s request for an emergency stay of McShane’s decision.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/judge-strikes-down-oregon-gay-marriage-ban-191151667.html

  9. CR says:

    Newington Teen Asks Joe Biden To The Prom; VP Sends Her A Corsage

    May 19, 2014 By CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN – The Hartford Courant

    NEWINGTON — When Talia Maselli envisioned her perfect prom date, one man immediately sprang to mind: Vice President Joe Biden.

    “Joe Biden makes me laugh,” Maselli said. “He just cracks me up.”

    So she mailed Biden a handwritten note last fall asking him to escort her to the Newington High School prom.

    “I am inviting you so far in advance because I’m sure many 17-year-old girls send you prom invitations, and I had to beat them to it,” Maselli said in her letter. “I could only tolerate a high school dance if I was to be escorted by the most delightful man in America.”

    If Biden turned her down, Maselli warned that she might ask Speaker of the House John Boehner in his place.

    “And we can’t have that now can we,” she wrote.

    Maselli, who says she’s interested in politics, considered the invitation a lark and never expected to hear back. A staff member would glance at the note and toss it, she figured.

    At about 10 a.m. Thursday, on the eve of the prom, Maselli got a shock. Her doorbell rang, and a deliveryman handed her a wrist corsage. Inside was a handwritten note from Biden.

    “I am flattered, but my schedule will not permit me to be in Connecticut on Friday evening,” the vice president said in the note. “But I hope you will accept this corsage and enjoy your prom as much as I did mine.”

    Biden goes on to invite Maselli to visit him at the White House.

    For more: http://www.courant.com/community/newington/hc-newington-corsage-0517-20140516,0,303434.story

  10. CR says:

    WH

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House

    7:00 AM
    7:30 AM
    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden arrive in Bucharest
    Otopeni Military Airport, Bucharest, Romania

    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:45 AM
    Vice President Biden meets with American and Romanian troops conducting a joint capacity-building exercise
    Otopeni Military Airport, Bucharest, Romania

    10:00 AM
    10:45 AM
    President Obama hosts a White House Roundtable on Investing in America
    Roosevelt Room

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:45 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:50 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts students from Turnaround Art schools across the nation and renowned performers and artists at the first-ever White House talent show

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    President Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Hagel

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  11. CR says:

    POTUS podium

    May 20, 2014

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    8:10 AM ET
    Vice President Biden Speaks to Joint U.S. and Romanian Participants at a Military Excerise
    Audio Only
    Bucharest, Romania

    12:45 PM ET
    Press Briefing by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

    2:50 PM ET
    First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at the White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show
    The White House

    —-

    CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

    10:30 AM ET
    House Committee Energy & Commerce | Communications and Technology
    Tom Wheeler testified before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee oversight hearing on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). http://www.c-span.org/video/?319457-1/fcc-chair-testifies-net-neutrality

    12:45 PM ET
    Press Briefing by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney http://www.c-span.org/video/?319492-1/white-house-briefing

    2:00 PM ET
    House Committee Transportation and Infrastructure | Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials
    The House Transporations and Infrastructure Subcommitte on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials held a hearing titled, “A Review of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011.” http://www.c-span.org/video/?319490-1/pipeline-safety-review

  12. CR says:

    Vice President Biden’s Itinerary

    http://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/us-romania-flags.jpg?w=450

    Tuesday, May 20
    Romania

    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden arrive in Romania
    Otopeni Military Airport, Bucharest, Romania

    Vice President Biden meets with American and Romanian troops conducting a joint capacity-building exercise
    Otopeni Military Airport, Bucharest, Romania

    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden overnight in Bucharest, Romania

    • CR says:

      May 20, 2014

      Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden to Joint United States and Romanian Participants in Carpathian Spring Military Exercise

      Otopeni Military Airbase
      Bucharest, Romania

      3:31 P.M. (Local)

      THE VICE PRESIDENT: Let me begin by saying, Mr. Minister, thank you, and it’s very hot in here. I was supposed to — I was told it was going to be cooler here, but thank you for the great weather.

      Ladies and gentlemen, it’s an honor to have a chance to see our militaries work together in this Carpathian Spring Joint Military Exercise. The last time I saw you working together was in Afghanistan. And it is — it’s a great benefit to both of us that we are side by side. It’s my pleasure to take a moment to recognize all that you do to keep the people safe and strong in our alliance.

      Over the past 25 years I’ve come to know and appreciate this beautiful country. I’ve been here many, many times. I’ve met I think with just about every one of your leaders. I’ve watched you make the journey from tyranny to freedom. I even advocated for Romania’s early entry into NATO when I was a United States senator.

      Even so I’m not sure I understood the full extent of the moral and physical courage of the Romanian people when we began this effort until I heard about you from American troops on the front lines. They told me that Romanian soldiers were warriors. They were capable, and they were brave. I think our fellow men and women here in American uniforms would agree that we are very proud — very proud — to serve with Romanian forces.

      So above all I’m here to say thank you to the Romanian men and women who serve to keep us safe, to the families who wait for them at home. My wife, Jill, and I understand what it’s like to wait. Our son spent a year in Iraq. And so your families, we owe you as well.

      And I especially want to pay tribute to the 26 Romanians who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the 143 who were wounded. We owe them and their loved ones a debt of gratitude that we will never be able to repay.

      In Romania, American forces have found a devoted NATO ally. I never doubted that for a moment as the effort to admit Romania into NATO was underway, serious and steadfast partner that you’ve been from day one. About a thousand Romanians remain in Afghanistan — four serving without caveats, fully in the fight, alongside our women and men. And I’m pleased that you will continue to support the post-2014 mission in Afghanistan.

      Romania today is hosting U.S. Marines at the M-K Airbase, which also supports logistical operations for Afghanistan. You’re building a fleet of F-16s. Romania is working to bring its defense budget up to 2 percent of GDP, as all NATO allies should and must.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/20/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-joint-united-states-and-romanian-partic

  13. CR says:

    White House Talent Show

    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts students from Turnaround Arts schools across the nation and renowned performers and artists at the first-ever White House talent show. Students will perform and showcase their work at the White House, joined by the Turnaround Artists who have been volunteering with their schools to support their arts education. Artists participating in Tuesday’s White House event include Sarah Jessica Parker*, Chuck Close*, John Lloyd Young*, Damian Woetzel*, George Wolfe*, Alfre Woodard*, Troy Andrews (Trombone Shorty), Cristina Pato, Shane Shanahan and Kojiro Umezaki. Artists in attendance include Kerry James Marshall*, Kal Penn*, Frank Gehry, Clarence Greenwood (Citizen Cope), Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Doc Shaw and Chad Smith. (*PCAH Member)

  14. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    House GOP Bill Would Roll Back Healthy School Lunch Rules

    MAY 19, 2014, 2:53 PM EDT MARY CLARE JALONICK – tpm

    WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are proposing to let some schools opt out of healthier school lunch andbreakfast programs if they are losing money.

    A GOP spending bill for agriculture and food programs released Monday would allow schools to apply for waivers if they have a net loss on school food programs for a six month period.

    Championed by first lady Michelle Obama, the new standards have been phased in over the last two schoolyears, with more changes coming in 2014. The rules set fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on foods in thelunch line and beyond.

    The first lady held a call to rally supporters of the healthier food rules Monday as a House subcommittee is expected to consider the bill on Tuesday.

    For more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/gop-bill-would-roll-back-lunch-rules

  15. CR says:

    Obama to discuss U.S. investment with corporate executives

    5/20/14 Jeff Mason – Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will gather executives from several major international companies including Ford Motor Co and Deutshe Lufthansa AG on Tuesday to discuss a White House initiative to encourage investment in the United States.

    The White House says the program, SelectUSA, has assisted in winning more than $18 billion in business investments in 17 states and territories.

    Obama, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and other economic advisers will join the executives in a discussion about their U.S. investments.

    “These businesses have recognized the many advantages of locating, growing and hiring in the United States,” said Jeff Zients, director of the White House National Economic Council, in a conference call with reporters on Monday.

    “We will discuss why they chose to invest and hire in the U.S. and how we can get even more investment from companies like theirs.”

    Other companies involved include Swedish telecom supplier Ericsson and Zurich NA, a subsidiary of Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance, according to the White House.

    • CR says:

      May 20, 2014

      Remarks by the President at Meeting with Business Leaders

      Roosevelt Room

      11:05 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: For the press, I just want to point out these are some outstanding companies, all of whom are investing in the United States, are representing major companies that see the U.S. as a great place to do business. We have made enormous strides over the last several years not just recovering from a Great Recession, but taking advantage of and now marketing the advantages of doing business in the United States — whether it’s low energy costs, an incredibly productive workforce.

      Obviously, we have the most dynamic and creative and innovative economy in the world, but we don’t always do what it takes to go after business around the world and make sure that they know the benefits of investing in the largest market on Earth. And we want to be more systematic about it. We want to make sure that the federal government is working in sync with state and local governments when it comes to locating businesses here in the United States.

      SelectUSA turned out to be an enormously successful process where we’re coordinating between agencies as well as other stakeholders. And we want to make sure that it’s even more successful the next time. So this is a terrific venue for us to learn from some outstanding companies. And we’re announcing that we’ll have our next SelectUSA conference — give me the exact date, Jeff.

      MR. ZIENTS: March of 2015.

      THE PRESIDENT: March of 2015 — which is right around the corner. (Laughter.)

      So thank you for participating. We’re very excited about it. Thanks, everybody.

      END
      11:07 A.M. EDT

    • CR says:

      May 20, 2014

      FACT SHEET & REPORT: On White House Roundtable on Investing in America

      Attached is a new report by the White House and Department of Commerce: Winning Business Investment in the United States”. The report can also be found HERE.

      President Obama announces second-ever SelectUSA Summit to be held in Spring 2015

      At a time when our businesses have created 9.2 million new jobs in just over four years, and more companies are considering bringing jobs here, we have a choice to make. We can make it easier for businesses to invest in America – or we can make it harder. It has been a top priority for this administration to do all we can to help businesses invest in the U.S. and support good jobs for American workers, and the President wants to work with Congress to continue to create jobs and expand opportunity for more Americans. But where Congress won’t act, the President will.

      In 2011, the President launched SelectUSA – a global team in embassies abroad and agencies at home focused on encouraging and supporting companies to bring job-creating investment to the United States. Last October, the President hosted the first-ever SelectUSA Summit, bringing more than 1,300 people – business executives from more than 60 countries, governors, mayors, and economic development officials from 48 states – to see the benefits of doing business and creating jobs in the U.S. and establishing the connections to make that happen.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/20/fact-sheet-report-white-house-roundtable-investing-america

  16. CR says:

    2:50 PM ET
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts students from Turnaround Art schools across the nation and renowned performers and artists at the first-ever White House talent show

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    • CR says:

      May 20, 2014

      Remarks by the First Lady and the President at Turnaround Arts Talent Show

      East Room

      3:00 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Yay! (Applause.) Yes! We’re going to have a show! (Applause.) Thank you all so much. Rest yourselves. I am beyond thrilled to welcome you all here today for the first ever White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show. (Applause.) We’re putting on a show!

      I want to start by recognizing the stars of today’s show, our fabulous student performers. We are all so proud of you! (Applause.)

      I also want to thank the National Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Education for their partnership on the Turnaround Arts program, and I want to thank Kathy Fletcher for her leadership of this program. (Applause.) And I want to recognize the extraordinary companies and foundations who are funding and advising this effort. We absolutely could not do this without you. You all are amazing.

      And of course, most of all, I want to thank the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, PCAH — I’ll say that instead of saying the longer. Thanks to my favorite people in the world, the PCAH co-chairs, George Stevens and Margo Lion — well done. (Applause.) And George Wolfe and Damian Woetzel who are co-directing today’s event. (Applause.) And Rachel — where’s Rachel Goslins, who is our — there you are. (Applause.) Our amazing Executive Director of PCAH. She is awesome. Love you. Well done. And thanks to all of the PCAH members who have truly gone above and beyond every step of the way.

      Now, as many of you know, three years ago, the members of the PCAH came up with an audacious idea, and they decided they wanted to use arts education to turn around struggling schools. They wanted to bring in art supplies and instruments and teacher training, and they wanted to convince famous artists to adopt these schools and help them transform over a two-year period of time.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/20/remarks-first-lady-and-president-turnaround-arts-talent-show

    • CR says:

      May 20, 2014

      Committee On The Arts And Humanities Announces Expansion Of Turnaround Arts Program

      Washington, D.C. –The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) will expand its successful Turnaround Arts initiative, a program designed to help turn around low-performing schools, narrow the achievement gap, and increase student engagement through the arts, announced the committee’s co-chairs, George Stevens Jr. and Margo Lion today.

      The newly expanded program is funded through a public-private partnership, providing over $5 million over the next three years from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Ford Foundation and other private foundations and companies to bring arts education into low-performing schools. Local program partners will provide an additional $12 million and the money will be used to hire new arts and music teachers, bring teaching artists, art supplies and music instruments into schools and support arts integration into other core subjects such as reading, math and science.

      Additionally, the President’s Committee announced a number of new “Turnaround Artists,” who will work to support individual schools’ arts education curriculum: Chad Smith, Clarence Greenwood (aka Citizen Cope), Doc Shaw, Elizabeth Banks, Elton John, Frank Gehry, Jason Mraz, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Josh Groban, Marc Anthony, Rashida Jones, Russell Simmons, the Silk Road Ensemble, Tim Robbins and Troy Andrews (aka Trombone Shorty). These artists join PCAH members who are currently working with the program, including Alfre Woodard, Chuck Close, Damian Woetzel, Forest Whitaker, John Lloyd Young, Kal Penn, Kerry James Marshall, Kerry Washington, Sarah Jessica Parker and Yo-Yo Ma.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/20/committee-arts-and-humanities-announces-expansion-turnaround-arts-progra

  17. CR says:

    http://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/rainbow-flag.jpg?w=450

    Pennsylvania gay marriage ban overturned by judge

    5/20/14 28 minutes ago By MARYCLAIRE DALE – Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday in a decision that legalizes same-sex marriage throughout the Northeast.

    U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs — a widow, 11 couples and one of the couples’ two teenage daughters — courageous.

    “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history,” Jones wrote of the 1996 state ban.

    Jones declined to put his ruling on hold during a potential appeal by the governor’s office, which defended the ban in court. The order was therefore expected to go into immediate effect Tuesday, unless Republican Gov. Tom Corbett successfully moved for a stay while he appealed.

    State marriage bans have been falling around the country since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. If Jones’ decision stands, Pennsylvania would become the 19th state to legalize gay marriage.

    One of the Pennsylvania plaintiffs, Maureen Hennessey, married her longtime companion, Mary Beth McIntyre, out of state in 2011. McIntyre died in May after battling cancer.

    “Everyone is just thrilled,” said Hennessey, 53, of Philadelphia, who was sipping champagne after the ruling was announced. “We were optimistic for a win, the attorneys worked so hard … now we’ll be celebrating.”

    Lawyers for the plaintiffs had said the law harms same-sex couples and their children by depriving them of the legal protections and tax benefits afforded to married couples.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/pennsylvania-gay-marriage-ban-overturned-judge-183943622.html

    • CR says:

      String of legal wins bolsters same-sex marriage

      5/26/14 By MARK SHERMAN and NICHOLAS RICCARDI – Associated Press

      WASHINGTON (AP) — One after another and in sometimes evocative language, judges appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents are declaring it’s too late to turn back on the topic of same-sex marriage.

      The unbroken string of state and federal court rulings in support of gay and lesbian unions takes in every region of the country, including states of the Confederacy, and brings to 26 states where same-sex couples can get married or a judge has ruled they ought to be allowed.

      It also may have pushed gay marriage to a legal tipping point, where the cause has won such wide-ranging approval that it will be hard for the Supreme Court to rule against it. The court rulings and the measured response of even elected officials who oppose same-sex marriage may be especially important for justices who have worried about acting too quickly to impose same-sex marriage nationwide.

      The latest ruling, in Pennsylvania, was followed quickly by word from Republican Gov. Tom Corbett that he would not appeal and instead let the decision take effect. Corbett, who opposes gay and lesbian marriage, is facing a tough campaign for re-election this year.

      “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history,” U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III wrote last week about the Pennsylvania marriage law.

      Gay marriage opponents say they expect more of a mixed record in the courts by the time the Supreme Court gets involved, and they take issue with the notion that U.S. public opinion has shifted as dramatically as many polls show.

      All the rulings came after the Supreme Court decision last June that struck down part of a federal anti-gay marriage law but did not apply to bans that were then in place in roughly three dozen states. Judges, though, have had no trouble extending the high court’s ruling in U.S. v. Windsor to prohibit states from discriminating against same-sex couples who want to wed.

      “Judges can read the tea leaves,” UCLA law professor Adam Winkler said. “They know where the Supreme Court is going. They know where society is going. Do they want their grandkids knowing they wrote an opinion stopping gay marriage?”

      In some respects, the series of rulings is just the latest manifestation of the extraordinary change in attitudes about same-sex marriage.

      In 1972, it took the Supreme Court one sentence to dispose of an appeal asserting a same-sex couple’s constitutional right to marry. In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared the state’s marriage ban unconstitutional. When President Barack Obama decided that his administration no longer would enforce the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2011, there were five states that allowed same-sex couples to wed. By late June, the number had jumped to 13, after the high court paved the way for gay and lesbian couples in California to get married.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/string-legal-wins-bolsters-same-sex-marriage-151058964.html

  18. CR says:

    May 20, 2014

    Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 3627

    On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, the President signed into law:

    H.R. 3627, the “Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act of 2013,” which provides for increased penalties for individuals who commit domestic assault and have at least two previous convictions for assault, sexual abuse, or serious violent felony against their child or a child in their care; and requires the Justice Department to report on the penalties for violations of State laws prohibiting child abuse.

  19. CR says:

    Vice President Biden’s Itinerary

    http://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/us-romania-flags.jpg?w=450

    Wedensday, May 21

    Romania

    Vice President Biden meets with Romanian President Băsescu
    Bucharest, Romania

    President Joe Biden and Romanian President Traian Basescu deliver a Joint Press Statement
    Bucharest, Romania

    Vice President Biden meets with Romanian Prime Minister Ponta
    Bucharest, Romania

    Vice President Biden and Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta deliver a Joint Press Statement
    Bucharest, Romania

    Vice President Biden delivers remarks to Romanian civil society and youth leaders
    Bucharest, Romania

    Dr. Jill Biden and Mrs. Maria Basescu, the Romanian First Lady, visits the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum
    Bucharest, Romania

    Dr. Jill Biden visits a Romanian NGO that works with victims of trafficking in persons
    Bucharest, Romania

    http://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/usa-cypress-flags-e1400520440381.jpg?w=450
    Cyprus

    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden arrive in Cyprus
    Larnaca International Airport, Larnaca, Cyprus

    Vice President Biden is welcomed by Cypriot Foreign Minister Kasoulides
    Larnaca International Airport, Larnaca, Cyprus

    Vice President Biden and Cypriot Foreign Minister Kasoulides deliver a Joint Press Statement
    Larnaca International Airport, Larnaca, Cyprus

    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden overnight in Larnaca, Cyprus

    • CR says:

      May 21, 2014

      Remarks by vice President Joe Biden and Romanian President Traian Basescu in a Joint Press Statement

      Cotroceni Palace
      Bucharest, Romania

      11:10 A.M. (Local)

      PRESIDENT BASESCU: (As interpreted) Good afternoon. Welcome to Cotroceni Palace.

      Today we had a meeting, which is extremely important, with Mr. Vice President Joe Biden, a meeting in which we have discussed the main topics on our bilateral agenda and also on the regional agenda.

      I can say that after Romania joined NATO and the Europe Union, the strategic partnership for the 21st century that we have pinned down with the U.S. is the third major political achievement after the December revolution. We welcome the firm commitment of the U.S. for the fifth article of the NATO Treaty.

      We have also discussed about the need to consolidate the rule of law in Romania, the rule of law as a premise for progress further in achieving at the maximum level the strategic partnership we have with the U.S.

      In our talks, I thanked Vice President Biden for the immediate reaction, the immediate response that the U.S. had when the conflict started in Ukraine and Crimea was illegally annexed. The U.S. reacted by supplementing air forces, naval forces and land forces that are ready to participate in any kind of mission, particularly in a mission of discouraging Russia’s attitude, Russia’s desire to become again the USSR. It is a reconfirmation and this time a proof to the fact that the United States of America are true to their word.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/21/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-and-romanian-president-traian-basescu-j

    • CR says:

      May 21, 2014

      Remarks by vice President Joe Biden and Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta in a Joint Press Statement

      Victoria Palace
      Bucharest, Romania

      1:10 P.M. (Local)

      PRIME MINISTER PONTA: (As interpreted) Good day.

      We are very glad and honored to have the visit of Mr. Vice President Joe Biden here in Bucharest and at the headquarters of our government.

      We are very happy to see you once again after the gathering that happened in October last year in Washington. At that time, Vice President Biden said that he will come back to Romania, and as always he kept his word, and we’d like to thank him for that.

      But I believe that his visit here is at the most necessary and right time for Romania, a moment when we have to reaffirm the idea of a strategic partnership that is stable and of long term between the United States of America and Romania, and the importance and confidence that the United States grant to the entire region and all of our partners and allies from the area, and also a special feeling towards the Romanian people that it’s not just our desire to have this strategic partnership, but also the United States considers Romania to be a trustworthy partner and a respected partner.

      So this is the most important formula, and the presence of Vice President Biden in Bucharest is confirming this fundamental idea. I want to restate once again in the name of Romania our total commitment to meet the requirements in our role that we play as a country at the border of NATO and the European Union, of the democratic world which is at this time confronted with a crisis situation that is unprecedented in the past 25 years, the aggression on behalf of the Russian Federation, breaching the international norms, the illegal annexing of Romania [sic]. These are challenges that this region has not seen in a long time.

      And furthermore the presence of Vice President Biden here is a strong message for Romania, but also a strong message for the other countries in the region, first of all for Moldova, the country for which Romania has a lot of good feelings, but also for Ukraine, for Georgia and all the others that have decided to take the route of democracy, the route of reforms, and abiding the international law.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/21/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-and-romanian-prime-minister-victor-pont

    • CR says:

      May 21, 2014

      Remarks by vice President Joe Biden to Romanian Civil Society Groups and Students

      Cotroceni Palace
      Bucharest, Romania

      2:45 P.M. (Local)

      THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr. President, we may be listening to a future president. I don’t know. (Laughter.)

      I want to thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. It was a pleasure having an opportunity to spend some time with you as well, and Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, and the President of the Senate, and the Justice Minister, and to all the distinguished guests here, it’s a great honor to be in this magnificent venue and at such an important time in U.S.-Romanian relations.

      Laura, thank you for the introduction, but more importantly, thank you for your continuing involvement. As I — the first time our paths crossed was five years ago, as you said, and look at you now, pursuing an advanced degree, an advocate for international education. And you are a reflection of the progress your country has made and continues to make.

      Mr. Prime Minister, judges, prosecutors, leaders of the parliament, thank you all for coming. In America, for all those of you who are public officials, we call this a “busman’s holiday,” having to listen to another public official make a speech. But I’m flattered that you are here.

      And the fact that you’re here, I think, is a reflection of the common recognition that while there may be political differences, one thing that unites all Romanian leaders is a strong stand in favor of democracy under the rule of law without question and without any caveats.

      I want to thank you all, but I particularly want to thank the civil society members here today for demanding greater freedoms, fairness and social justice, and maybe most importantly dignity for all the people of Romania.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/21/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-romanian-civil-society-groups-and-stude

    • CR says:

      Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Biden Arrive in Cyprus

      Published on May 21, 2014

      Vice President Biden lands in in Cyprus marking the first time since Vice President Lyndon Johnson that a U.S. Vice President has visited Cyprus. http://www.whitehouse.gov

    • CR says:

      May 21, 2014

      Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden to the Press at Larnaca International Airport

      Larnaca International Airport
      Larnaca, Republic of Cyprus

      THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr. Minister, thank you for coming to greet Jill and me personally. I’ve been looking forward to this visit for a long time, ever since I was elected to the United States Senate way back in 1973.

      It’s great to finally be here in Cyprus, and I’m told I’m the first United States Vice President to be on Cyprus since Vice President Lyndon Johnson visited this beautiful island. I came here at the invitation of your President, and the government of the Republic of Cyprus. And I wanted to come to primarily underscore the value the United States attaches to our growing cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus.

      This relationship is now a genuine, strategic partnership, and it holds even greater promise, Mr. Minister. I look forward to sitting down tomorrow with the President to discuss a shared agenda, Cyprus’s growing leadership in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus’s support for the mission to eliminate chemical weapons from Syria and to help prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, its role in Europe and in the regional energy security, and our continued cooperation on search and rescue, crisis response, and counterterrorism. There’s much to discuss.

      And tomorrow the President and I will also discuss events in Ukraine. We have to be resolute and united in the face of Russian intervention. Also I know that the Cypriot people have faced tough economic challenges and have already made painful sacrifices. And I’ve been pleased to see the government make good on the progress of economic reform. I believe the economy is beginning to turn the corner. And we look forward to working with you to deepen our trade involvement and to restore growth and prosperity.

      Of course, an important focus of our conversations will be the settlement process. I look forward to meeting with the leaders of both communities; the leaders of the Greek Cypriot community tomorrow, and with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community the following day. The United States — I want to be clear about this — recognizes only one legitimate government of the Republic of Cyprus, and my visit and meetings throughout the island will not change that. It is my personal position. It’s the position of the United States of America, and it’s the position of the entire world — save one country.

      And it’s long past time — 40 years — that all Cypriots are reunited in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. I’ve been encouraged by the steps that have recently been taken, the Joint Declaration on February the 11th, the visit of the Greek Cypriot negotiator to Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot negotiator to Athens, support from the international community, and the seriousness of purpose we have seen in this process thus far.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/21/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-press-larnaca-international-airport

  20. CR says:

    Vice President Biden’s Itinerary

    http://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/usa-cypress-flags-e1400520440381.jpg?w=450

    Thursday May 22
    Cyprus

    Vice President Biden meets with Cypriot political leaders from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, civil society representatives, and faith leaders
    Greek Orthodox Archbishopric, Larnaca, Cyprus

    Vice President Biden and Cypriot President Anastasiades hold a bilateral meeting
    Presidential Palace, Nicosia, Cyprus

    Vice President Biden and Cypriot President Anastasiades deliver a Joint Press Statement
    Presidential Palace, Nicosia, Cyprus

    Cypriot President Anastasiades hosts an official lunch for Vice President Biden, Cypriot cabinet and party leaders, Cypriot former presidents and former Cypriot speakers of the house, and other Cypriot politicians

    Vice President Biden visits the U.S. Embassy to honor the memory of Ambassador Rodger Davies and local employee Antoinette “Toni” Varnavas
    U.S. Embassy, Nicosia, Cyprus

    Dr. Jill Biden and the First Lady of Cyprus, Andreana Anastasiades, visits the village of Lefkara
    Nicosia, Cyprus

    Vice President Biden visits the demilitarised zone U.N. Buffer Zone
    Nicosia, Cyprus

    Dr. Jill Biden and First Lady of Cyprus, Andreana Anastasiades, visits the U.N. Buffer Zone
    Nicosia, Cyprus

    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden overnight in Nicosia, Cyprus

    • CR says:

      May 22, 2014

      Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden at an Official Lunch with President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus

      Presidential Palace
      Limassol, Cyprus

      VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Your Beatitude; Mr. President; distinguished leaders. Let me begin by saying a simple thank you. Thank you for the hospitality that’s been extended to me and my wife, Jill. And it’s been so warm a welcome to this beautiful island. I’ve been waiting over 40 years to come to Cyprus, and it has not disappointed — the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Crossroads of Civilization, and I might add, a genuine strategic partner to the United States of America.

      I am known in Washington as the White House optimist, as if I am the new guy on the block. The fact I’ve been there longer than all the rest does not dim my optimism. The fact of the matter is that it’s a natural that my toast today will be about the future, and I believe that for both our countries, the best days are ahead for both of us.

      In America, we are emerging from a recession and two wars. Our businesses have added 9.2 million jobs for 50 straight months. We have ended one war and are ending another. And we’re moving forward on health care, education, energy exploration. And as I said when I was recently in China, it’s never, ever, ever been a good bet to bet against America. We’re back. And we’re with you.

      Cyprus, too, has weathered tough economic times, and you’ve made some very painful reforms. Your economy is now turning the corner. You are emerging as a leader in the region. And Cyprus is poised to become a key player in the Eastern Mediterranean into a new — transforming the Eastern Mediterranean into a new global hub for natural gas and markets. You are uniquely situated at a critical time in modern history, so it should be no surprise that the best days are ahead for Cyprus as well.

      We’ve been working together for a long time. We’re working even more closely together now — from more trade and investment to counterterrorism — prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, as the President pointed out. And we’re partners in the biggest issues of the day: the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons, the prevention of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and responding to Russian intervention in Ukraine. This is not just a strategic partnership; it’s a growing partnership.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/22/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-official-lunch-president-nicos-anastasi

    • CR says:

      May 22, 2014

      Remarks to the Press by Vice President Joe Biden in Nicosia, Republic of Cyrus

      Ledra Palace Hotel
      Nicosia, Republic of Cyprus

      10:23 P.M. (Local)

      THE VICE PRESIDENT [flanked by President Anastasiades, Dr. Eroğlu, and UN special representative Buttenheim]: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I want to thank my host and — for the incredible hospitality that’s been shown to me in my private meetings with the leaders, as well as our joint meeting. And I want to thank them for joining me tonight. We had a very productive discussion building on the meetings I had with each leader separately earlier in the day.

      The fact that we break bread tonight in the heart of a beautiful, ancient city — but also in a buffer zone that separates one Cypriot community from another reminds us that things were not always as they are now. They do not have to remain the way they are now. A better path is open.

      And I’m pleased that the two leaders have reaffirmed their full commitment to their joint declaration of February the 11th. The two leaders agreed to speed up the process of negotiations toward a comprehensive settlement which is their priority. They agreed to meet at least twice a month to this end. Their next meeting will be on June the 2nd.

      The two leaders also agreed to intensify work on preparing meaningful confidence-building measures as envisioned in the joint declaration. The two leaders also agreed to revitalize the bi-communal technical committees to improve the daily lives of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The two leaders also agreed to jointly call upon all those who have any information on missing persons to share that information with the Committee on Missing Persons in order to assist the committee in advancing its work. They agreed that additional resources should be provided for the work of the committee.

      For our part, the United States will engage with all stakeholders to explore mutually beneficial initiatives to reinforce settlement negotiations. And let me thank my colleagues again, and I look forward to seeing them again.

      [President Anastasiades, Dr. Eroğlu , and UN special representative Buttenheim depart]

      THE VICE PRESIDENT: Let me add that I have been engaged in negotiations around the world in many difficult conflicts. But I must tell you, I have been truly impressed by the cordiality and the ease with which both leaders speak to one another and negotiate with one another.

      Tonight, I heard both leaders confirm a common objective — the reunification of Cyprus as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. I heard common ground on certain aspects of these negotiations. I also heard differences. But I do not believe they are irreconcilable differences.

      There is clearly a lot of work to be done, but what I’m hearing gives me hope that a solution is within reach this time. The United States encourages the leaders to discuss a package on Varosha and Famagusta. If the two sides were to agree on this, the United States would stand ready to assist on the implementation.

      The United States is also hoping to see quick and substantial progress on a number of core issues which would allow the sides to enter the final phase of U.N.-led negotiations. But ultimately, the solution cannot come from the outside. It cannot come from the United States or anywhere else; it has to come from the leaders of the two communities, and from the compelling voices of the civil society leaders I heard from earlier today.

      People have asked me, what’s in this for the United States? I tell you, President Obama and I believe that Cyprus is a key partner in a challenging region. And we know it can be even a stronger partner if the next generation of Cypriots can grow up without the burden of conflict. That would expand people’s horizons to dream of something much bigger. It would unlock their talents and liberate them to do remarkable things.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/22/remarks-press-vice-president-joe-biden-nicosia-republic-cyrus

  21. CR says:

    Vice President Biden’s Itinerary

    http://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/usa-cypress-flags-e1400520440381.jpg?w=450

    Friday May 22
    Cyprus

    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden depart Cyprus

    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden return to Washington DC

  22. CR says:

    *******************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” National Monuments Designated by President Obama″

    ********************

    To get to the newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the thread

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