Joint Statement by the President of the United States of America Barack Obama and the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin Los Cabos, June 18, 2012
Joint Statement by the President of the United States of America
Barack Obama and
the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin
Los Cabos, June 18, 2012
The United States of America and the Russian Federation confirm our commitment to strengthening close and cooperative relations for the benefit of the peoples of our countries, international peace, global prosperity, and security. In recent years, we have laid a solid foundation for expanding our bilateral interaction in a variety of areas. Today we agree to continue this work guided by the principles of the rule of law, respect for human rights, equality, and mutual respect.
One of the key tasks on our shared agenda is the expansion of trade and investment relations, which should foster mutual economic growth and prosperity. To this end, we have agreed to prioritize the expansion and diversification of our bilateral trade and investment through nondiscriminatory access to our markets based on international rules.
An important step in this direction is Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), which has become possible thanks to our joint efforts. In order for WTO rules and mechanisms to apply to our bilateral trade, the Obama Administration is working closely with the U.S. Congress to terminate, as soon as possible, application of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment with respect to Russia and extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations to the Russian Federation. The United States has also welcomed and offered its support to Russia’s pursuit of membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Nuclear arms control and non-proliferation remain a special responsibility for the United States and Russia as the two states with the world’s largest nuclear weapons arsenals. We reiterate our strong support for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and our shared goal of universal adherence to and compliance with that Treaty and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s comprehensive safeguards, consistent with the Treaty’s Article III, and with the Additional Protocol. We recognize the achievements made through the Nuclear Security Summits, including the removal and elimination of nuclear materials, minimization of the civilian use of highly enriched uranium, and worldwide improvements in a nuclear security culture.
We are continuing research on the feasibility of converting research reactors in the United States and Russia to low-enriched uranium fuel. We agree to redouble bilateral efforts to improve nuclear security, counter nuclear smuggling, and combat nuclear terrorism, as well as to facilitate the beginning of negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament on a fissile material cutoff treaty that will halt production of fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices, within the framework of a balanced program of work at the Conference. We will strive for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.
As a priority, we intend to successfully implement the New START Treaty, and to continue our discussions on strategic stability. Despite differences in assessments, we have agreed to continue a joint search for solutions to challenges in the field of missile defense.
The pursuit of international peace and security remains a priority for the United States and Russia, recognizing how much we have to gain by working together to overcome the main challenges of this century. While recognizing Iran’s right to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, we agree that Iran must undertake serious efforts aimed at restoring international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program. To this end, Tehran must fully comply with its obligations under the relevant UN Security Council and IAEA Board of Governors resolutions, and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency for the expedited resolution of all remaining issues. Our common goal remains a comprehensive negotiated settlement based on the principles of a step-by-step approach and reciprocity, and we look forward to constructive engagement with Iran through the P5+1 process, including the latest round of talks taking place in Moscow on June 18-19.
We urge North Korea to come into compliance with all the relevant directives of the UN Security Council and fulfill its commitments under the Joint Statement by China, the DPRK, the Republic of Korea, Russia, the U.S., and Japan of September 19, 2005. We count on the DPRK not to commit acts that would escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula. As partners in the Six-Party talks, we are prepared to continue the joint efforts to achieve verifiable denuclearization on the Korean peninsula in accordance with the Joint Statement of September 19, 2005.
We agree to cooperate bilaterally and multilaterally to solve regional conflicts. In order to stop the bloodshed in Syria, we call for an immediate cessation of all violence and express full support for the efforts of UN/League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, including moving forward on political transition to a democratic, pluralistic political system that would be implemented by the Syrians themselves in the framework of Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity. We are united in the belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to independently and democratically choose their own future.
The need for a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East has never been more apparent, and we will continue working with our Quartet partners to advance peace efforts on the basis of the Quartet statements of September 23, 2011, and April 11, 2012, and to strengthen the Palestinian Authority’s ability to meet the full range of civil and security needs of the Palestinian people, both now and in a future state.
The United States and Russia continue to face a common threat from al Qaeda and other terrorist groups operating in and around Afghanistan. We recognize that this is a pivotal time for international efforts to strengthen security and promote economic development in Afghanistan, as well as to counter the narcotics threat. With the successful implementation of bilateral and multilateral transit arrangements, Russia has made a significant contribution to international efforts to promote stability in Afghanistan.
We reiterate that the process leading to reconciliation must be truly Afghan-led and Afghan-implemented. Reconciliation must include, as integral parts, a commitment to a sovereign, stable, and unified Afghanistan, breaking ties to al Qaeda, ending violence, and accepting the Afghan Constitution, including its human rights provisions, notably the rights of women. We will explore opportunities to strengthen the Northern Distribution Network, to bolster regional security, and to expand cooperation as we fight terrorism and narcotics trafficking, taking advantage of the capabilities of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the NATO-Russia Council to enhance law-enforcement training for the region.
The United States of America and the Russian Federation intend to increase cooperation in addressing the world drug problem, so as to radically reduce production and consumption of illicit drugs, as affirmed by resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. We are ready to continue active support of efforts undertaken by the international community to counteract illicit production and illegal trafficking and consumption of drugs.
The United States of America and the Russian Federation are committed to furthering our multifaceted cooperation to counter terrorism. Both our nations face persistent and evolving domestic and transnational terrorist threats, including from terrorists based in North Africa, the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Acknowledging the global character of these challenges, we reaffirm our readiness for further joint work to implement the UN’s Global Counterterrorism Strategy, the UN Security Council resolutions and statements on terrorism, as well as to utilize other applicable international counterterrorism instruments, including counterterrorism sanctions regimes introduced by the UN Security Council with respect to al Qaeda and the Taliban.
The United States and Russia affirm our intent to work together to ensure the long-term success of the recently launched Global Counterterrorism Forum and continue to interact on various multilateral platforms, including the G-8 Roma/Lyon Group, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We will continue to work together to counter financial support for terrorism, disrupt the possible connections between terrorist networks and criminal groups, prevent the spread of violent extremism, and improve transportation security, including by concluding bilateral agreements in this field.
An important role in strengthening U.S.-Russian relations belongs to the Presidential Commission, created in July 2009, which coordinates our bilateral cooperation on the widest range of issues from strategic stability, energy and space, fighting terrorism and illegal drug trafficking and consumption– to public health, agriculture, the environment, civil society, and cultural and educational exchanges. We are pleased to announce a new Working Group on Military-Technical Cooperation. U.S.-Russian cooperation has been growing in the global fight against malaria.
This year we together celebrate the 200th anniversary of Fort Ross in California, which was founded by Russian settlers and underscores the historic ties between our countries. In order to give our bilateral relations a new quality, we intend to pay special attention to broadening contacts between our peoples and societies, including by liberalizing the visa regime. We welcome steps to bring into force the U.S.-Russian Agreement on Simplifying Visa Formalities, signed in 2011, which should make two-way travel by American and Russian tourist and business travelers easier. We also commit to work together to ensure the rights and protections of adopted children. This will be facilitated by bringing into force and implementing the bilateral adoptions agreement signed last year.
The United States of America and the Russian Federation will only be able to achieve positive new results by acting together for the purpose of strengthening the democracy, security, and prosperity of the American and Russian peoples, and by solving other complex challenges confronting our countries and the international community.
Joint Statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict by Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and François Hollande, President of the French Republic at the Los Cabos Summit of the Twenty
Joint Statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict by
Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and François Hollande, President of the French Republic
at the Los Cabos Summit of the Twenty
We, the Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries – France, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America – are united in our resolute commitment to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The parties to the conflict should not further delay making the important decisions necessary to reach a lasting and peaceful settlement. We regret that the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia did not take the decisive steps that our countries called for in the joint statement at Deauville on May 26, 2011. Nevertheless, the progress that has been achieved should provide the momentum to complete work on the framework for a comprehensive peace.
We call upon the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to fulfill the commitment in their January 23, 2012 joint statement at Sochi to “accelerate” reaching agreement on the Basic Principles for a Settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. As evidence of their political will, they should refrain from maximalist positions in the negotiations, respect the 1994 ceasefire agreement, and abstain from hostile rhetoric that increases tension. We urge the leaders to be guided by the principles of the Helsinki Final Act – particularly those relating to the non-use of force or the threat of force, territorial integrity, and equal rights and self-determination of peoples – and the elements of a settlement outlined in our countries’ statements at L’Aquila in 2009 and Muskoka in 2010.
Military force will not resolve the conflict and would only prolong the suffering and hardships endured by the peoples of the region for too long. Only a peaceful, negotiated settlement can allow the entire region to move beyond the status quo toward a secure and prosperous future.
Our countries will continue to work closely with the sides, and we call upon them to make full use of the assistance of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs as mediators. However, peace will depend ultimately upon the parties’ willingness to seek an agreement based on mutual understanding, rather than one-sided advantage, and a shared vision of the benefits that peace will bring to all their peoples and to future generations.
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY H.R. 2578 – Conservation and Economic Growth Act (Rep. Denham, R-CA, and 4 cosponsors)
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
H.R. 2578 – Conservation and Economic Growth Act
(Rep. Denham, R-CA, and 4 cosponsors)
The Administration opposes H.R. 2578, which is an omnibus lands bill incorporating fourteen separate House bills. The Administration has worked to protect and manage the responsible use of America’s natural resources and to support and ensure that the Nation’s spectacular landscapes, unique natural life, and cultural resources and icons endure for future generations. The Administration is working, through balanced and community-based decision-making, to maximize the benefits of the outdoors for all Americans. The Department of the Interior advises that hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation alone contribute an estimated $730 billion to the economy each year. Enactment of H.R. 2578 in its current form would not advance, and in many cases would set back, these priorities.
Overall, H.R. 2578 contains a number of provisions that would undermine the responsible balance of interests and considerations in the stewardship of the Nation’s lands and natural resources. Further, various provisions would disregard and shortchange public input on a range of community interests, including natural resource protections, and preclude agencies from considering less environmentally detrimental alternatives. Most significantly, H.R. 2578 would: (1) undermine recent months of productive talks on a revised proposal to satisfy Alaska Native land claims and consider the natural resource and other values of timberland in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest; (2) reverse course on the science-based National Park Service plan, developed after a lengthy public engagement process, that provides an appropriate balance of off-road vehicle access and protection of sensitive seashore areas in North Carolina; (3) weaken important National Environmental Policy Act and public involvement provisions for actions affecting resources such as grazing on lands managed by the Department of the Interior; and (4) thwart successful efforts by agencies to collaborate on border security while protecting our natural and cultural resources on Federal lands along U.S. borders by waiving thirty-seven environmental and administrative laws. All of these provisions present a false choice between natural resources protection and the economy or national security.
The Administration recognizes that portions of this multi-title legislation are noncontroversial; a few are unworkable as drafted, but many could be amended to address concerns, including those outlined in Executive branch testimonies delivered in congressional hearings over the past number of months. Thus, the Administration urges the Congress to address these identified policy, programmatic, and management concerns, and looks forward to working with the Congress on them.
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY S.J. Res. 37 – Disapproving EPA’s Mercury Air and Toxics Standards (Sen. Inhofe, R-OK)
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
S.J. Res. 37 – Disapproving EPA’s Mercury Air and Toxics Standards
(Sen. Inhofe, R-OK)
The Administration strongly opposes S.J. Res. 37, which would overturn long-overdue national clean air standards limiting power plant emissions of toxic air pollution, including mercury. As a result, this resolution would cause substantial harm to public health and undermine our Nation’s longstanding commitment to clean up pollution from power plants.
Since it was enacted in 1970 and amended in 1977 and 1990, each time with strong bipartisan support, the Clean Air Act (CAA) has improved the Nation’s air quality and protected public health. Since 1970, the economy has grown over 200 percent while emissions of key pollutants have decreased more than 60 percent. More than forty years of clean air regulation has shown that a strong economy and strong environmental and public health protection go hand-in-hand.
S.J. Res. 37 would undermine more than forty years of CAA progress by blocking the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the first national standards to protect American families from harmful power plant emissions of mercury and other toxic air pollution like arsenic, acid gases, nickel, and chromium. By addressing the largest remaining source of mercury emissions in the United States, these standards will reduce our children’s exposure to this neurotoxicant which can impair their ability to think and learn. Because technology to control toxics also reduces fine particle pollution, the standards will help America’s children grow up healthier, preventing 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and over 6,000 cases of acute bronchitis among children each year. EPA further estimates that emissions reductions resulting from meeting these standards will prevent as many as 11,000 avoidable premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks, annually. The annual value of these health benefits alone is estimated to be as much as $90 billion. In addition, the standards will reduce the risk of numerous other non-monetized yet devastating health effects, including illnesses of the central nervous system, damage to kidneys, and cancer.
The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will ensure that the Nation’s power plants install modern, widely available technologies to limit harmful pollution – leveling the playing field for power plants that already have such controls in place. The standards are achievable; pollution control equipment that can help meet them already is installed at more than half of the Nation’s coal-fired power plants. Numerous studies, including analysis by the Department of Energy, have projected that the standards can be met without adversely affecting the adequacy of electric generation resources in any region of the country.
Finally, if a rule is disapproved under the Congressional Review Act, an agency may not issue a rule that is “substantially the same.” In this case, because EPA has adhered closely to its narrowly circumscribed authority under the CAA in promulgating these standards, the enactment of S.J. Res. 37 could effectively prevent EPA from ever limiting mercury and air toxics pollution from power plants.
If the President were presented with S.J. Res. 37, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the resolution.
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA
AND PRESIDENT PUTIN OF RUSSIA
AFTER BILATERAL MEETING
Los Cabos, Mexico
12:42 P.M. MDT
PRESIDENT PUTIN: (As interpreted.) Mr. President, this has been our second meeting. I remember our lengthy meeting we had in Moscow.
Today we had a very meaningful and subject-oriented discussion. We’ve been able to discuss issues pertaining to security. We discussed bilateral economic relations. In this regard, I’d like to thank you for the support rendered to Russia with our accession to the World Trade Organization. I’m confident this will help to further develop the economic relations between our two countries, to promote the creation of jobs in both countries.
We also discussed international affairs, including the Syrian affair. From my perspective, we’ve been able to find many commonalities pertaining to all of those issues. And we’ll now further develop our contacts both on a personal level and on the level of our experts involved.
You visited the Russian Federation three years ago. Now welcome again. I invite you to visit Moscow.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
We, in fact, did have a candid, thoughtful and thorough conversation on a whole range of bilateral and international issues. Over the last three years, the United States and Russia have been able to make significant progress on a wide range of issues, including the New START Treaty, the 1,2,3 Agreement, the work we’ve done on Russia’s accession to the WTO, and setting up a presidential process whereby issues of trade and commerce, science, technology are all discussed at a much more intensive level.
We agreed that we need to build on these successes, even as we recognize that there are going to be areas of disagreement, and that we can find constructive ways to manage through any bilateral tensions. In particular, we discussed the need to expand trade and commercial ties between the United States and Russia, which are still far below where they should be. And I emphasized my priority of having Congress repeal Jackson-Vanik, provide permanent trade relations status to Russia so that American businesses can take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities now that Russia is a member of the WTO.
We discussed a range of strategic issues, including missile defense, and resolved to continue to work through some of the difficult problems involved there.
I thanked the President and the Russian people for the work they’ve done with us on the Northern Distribution Network that is vital to providing supplies and resources to our brave troops who are still in Afghanistan.
We emphasized our shared approach when it comes to the Iranian situation as members of the P5+1. We agreed that there’s still time and space to resolve diplomatically the issue of Iran’s potential development of nuclear weapons, as well as its interest in developing peaceful nuclear power.
And finally, as Mr. President mentioned, we discussed Syria, where we agreed that we need to see a cessation of the violence, that a political process has to be created to prevent civil war, and the kind of horrific events that we’ve seen over the last several weeks, and we pledged to work with other international actors including the United Nations, Kofi Annan, and all the interested parties in trying to find a resolution to this problem.
Mr. President, I look forward to visiting Russia again, and I look forward to hosting you in the United States.
Thank you, everybody.
President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Offer Condolences for the Passing of Crown Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud
President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia to Offer Condolences for the Passing of
Crown Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud
President Barack Obama today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to offer condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, on the passing of HRH Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior.
The Honorable Leon E. Panetta, Secretary of Defense, will lead the delegation on June 20, 2012.
Members of the Presidential Delegation:
The Honorable James B. Smith, United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Honorable John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
The Honorable Robert S. Mueller III, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Honorable A. Elizabeth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
The Honorable George J. Tenet, Former Director of Central Intelligence
Ms. Frances Fragos Townsend, Former Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security
Statement by the President on the Selection of Prince Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
Statement by the President on the Selection of Prince Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
I congratulate King Abdullah and the Saudi people on the selection of Prince Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud as Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As Governor of Riyadh and then Minister of Defense, Crown Prince Salman has served his country with dedication and honor over the past five decades. I had the pleasure of receiving him at the White House this April and know that he is a man of deep faith who is committed to improving the lives of the people of Saudi Arabia and to the security of the region. The United States looks forward to continuing our strong relationship with Crown Prince Salman in his new capacity as we deepen the longstanding partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Statement by the President on the Death of Crown Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia
Statement by the President on the Death of Crown Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia
It was with great regret that I learned of the passing of Crown Prince Nayif bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. For decades, Crown Prince Nayif served as Minister of the Interior and dedicated himself to the security of Saudi Arabia as well as security throughout the region. Under his leadership, the United States and Saudi Arabia developed a strong and effective partnership in the fight against terrorism, one that has saved countless American and Saudi lives. Crown Prince Nayif also strongly supported the broader partnership between our two countries begun by his late father, King Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, and President Roosevelt in their historic meeting in 1945. On behalf of the American people, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to King Abdullah, the royal family, and the people of Saudi Arabia.