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'Values and attitudes'

October 10, 2009

In singling out President Obama for its peace prize, the Nobel committee said he had created a new climate in international politics and brought back diplomacy and negotiation as the preferred tools of international relations. Some hallmarks of his short time in the White House:


Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agree on a framework to reduce their nations' nuclear arsenals and on steps to fight terrorism and cooperate on the war in Afghanistan. Preparing for the Moscow trip, Obama said his overarching agenda was to "reset" U.S.-Russia relations.


During a speech at Cairo University, he says the United States and the Muslim world need a "new beginning," aimed at setting aside mutual suspicion and addressing problems such as terrorism and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Nuclear weapons

On his first tour of Europe as president, Obama vows to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons, saying the U.S. is ready to lead.

Global warming

Addressing other leaders at the G-8 summit, Obama says of U.S. climate change policy: "In the past, the United States has sometimes fallen short of meeting our responsibilities. . . . Those days are over."

Middle East

On his first full day in office he confers by telephone with the leaders of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. He later appoints a special envoy to the region.


In an attempt to claim the "moral high ground" of international relations, Obama issues executive orders to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp within a year, permanently shut the CIA's network of secret overseas prisons, and end the agency's use of interrogation techniques that critics describe as torture.


Speaking before an audience of Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., he says most troops will be out of Iraq by the end of August 2010, and a "transitional force" will remain.


Obama broadcasts greetings to Iran's public for a pre-Islamic New Year's holiday widely celebrated there. He stresses potential for peaceful cooperation between the two nations, but Iran defiantly insists on a right to develop nuclear power.


He is assessing commanders' request for more troops, a decision that some say could be complicated by his status as a Nobel peace laureate.


Source: Times researchers Scott Wilson and Tom Reinken

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