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November 08, 2012

Obama Thanks World Leaders After Election

by VOA News

Newly re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama was busy Thursday speaking with leaders around the globe, thanking them for their friendship and partnership.

The White House said the president has been receiving congratulatory messages from his counterparts since his election victory Tuesday.  A statement said the president appreciates the messages and looks forward to continuing to work with all his fellow leaders to address global challenges.

The White House said the president spoke with 13 world leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, French President Francois Hollande, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He also spoke with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
 
​​On domestic matters, the president called Republican House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday to begin discussions on a deal to avoid a package of automatic budget reductions and tax increases set to take effect after the end of the year.  Economists warn the package, dubbed the "fiscal cliff," could push the U.S. economy back into recession.

The president is seeking new revenue by requiring Americans making over $250,000 to pay more in income taxes, something adamantly opposed by Boehner and his fellow Republicans.  But the House Speaker said Wednesday he is not opposed to some form of new government revenues, as long as they include changes to programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

But Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that no one will be "messing with Social Security" as part of any compromise.

Talks between the president and Boehner on a so-called "grand bargain" over a long-term budget deal in 2011 collapsed.

Related story by Al Pessin:

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