Obama tells Putin he has violated international law

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Updated 11 March 2014

Obama tells Putin he has violated international law

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama told President Vladimir Putin in a 90-minute phone call Saturday that Russia had violated international law with its incursion into Ukraine and warned of US and allied reprisals.
Putin responded by saying Russia has the right to “protect its interests and Russian-speaking populations” in Ukraine.
Putin told Obama there was a “real threat weighing on the lives and the health of Russian citizens” in Ukraine, according to a Kremlin statement.
The White House said Obama called on Putin to pull Russian troops back to their bases in Crimea and warned that continued violation of international law by Moscow would lead to further “political and economic isolation.”
The call came as Obama’s national security team met to draw up US responses to the escalating crisis, after Russia’s parliament gave Putin the formal go ahead to send forces to Ukraine and officials in Kiev said 6,000 forces had already been sent to Crimea.
“President Obama expressed his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the White House said in a detailed statement about the call.
Obama told Putin that his actions were a “breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine.”
“The United States calls on Russia to de-escalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine,” the statement said.
Obama also warned Putin that the people of Ukraine had the right to determine their own future.
“Russia’s continued violation of international law will lead to greater political and economic isolation,” the statement added.
Obama informed Putin, with whom he has had tense public interactions, that he would order US diplomats to stop preparatory meetings for the G8 summit in Sochi, Russia in June.
On Friday, US officials said Obama and other European leaders were unlikely to show up at the summit in the showcase Black Sea report if the Ukraine crisis was not resolved.
Obama did use the call to recognize that there were deep cultural ties between Ukraine and Russia and that there was a need to protect ethnic Russians in the former Soviet republic.
But he argued that the proper way to do that was through a dialogue with the government in Kiev and with international observers on the ground appointed by the United Nations Security Council and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Obama also vowed to keep up consultations with the interim government appointed in Ukraine after the ouster pro-Russian president Viktor Yanucovych and bodies like the International Monetary Fund to support Kiev and to mitigate its deepening economic crisis.


Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

Updated 22 October 2020

Indonesian president ‘honored’ to have UAE street named after him

  • Abu Dhabi’s Al-Ma’arid Street renamed President Joko Widodo Street

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday said it was “an honor” for him and his country that a street in the UAE capital had been named after him.

Al-Ma’arid Street, one of Abu Dhabi’s key roads, was on Monday renamed President Joko Widodo Street during a ceremony that coincided with the first anniversary of the Indonesian leader’s inauguration for a second term in office.

Writing on social media, Widodo said: “It is a recognition and an honor, not only for me, but for Indonesia.” He also expressed hope that the two countries’ relations would be “stronger, mutually strengthening, and beneficial for the people of the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.”

Indonesia’s ambassador to the UAE, Husin Bagis, told Arab News: “The initiative to rename the street after President Joko Widodo came from His Highness (Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan), who also presided over the street renaming ceremony on the spot.”

The envoy said that the street was near to the future location of the Indonesian Embassy compound, which was currently under construction.

According to UAE news agency WAM, the crown prince has also directed officials to build a mosque named after Widodo, in Abu Dhabi’s Diplomatic Area, in recognition of the Indonesian president’s close friendship with the UAE and his efforts to strengthen the relationship.

Indonesia-UAE relations have grown closer since Widodo’s visit to Abu Dhabi in January, during which he secured investment projects worth $22.9 billion in what has officially been described as the biggest trade deal in the country’s history. The visit was to reciprocate the crown prince’s trip to Indonesia in July 2019.

Recent cooperation agreements between the two countries have included plans for the construction of a mosque on a plot of land in Widodo’s hometown of Solo in Central Java.

The mosque will be a replica of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and serve as an Islamic center offering training for clerics. A groundbreaking ceremony is slated to take place in December.

Widodo is the latest Indonesian leader to be celebrated through an honorific street name in a foreign country. In Rabat, Morocco’s capital, Avenue Sukarno was named after Indonesia’s first president, while Mohammed Hatta Street in Haarlem, the Netherlands, recognizes the Southeast Asian country’s first vice president. Sukarno and Hatta are considered the fathers of Indonesia’s independence.

The name of the country’s third president, B. J. Habibie, appears on a bridge in Dili, the capital of East Timor, in honor of his decision to hold a referendum there which allowed East Timor to secede from Indonesia.