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U.S. President Barack Obama Makes Last Foreign Trip of his Presidency

Trump has repeatedly spoken against international agreements reached during Obama's presidency

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President Barack Obama back from vacation (representational image) VOA
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November 15, 2016: U.S. President Barack Obama departs Monday on the final planned foreign trip of his presidency, and his advisors expect President-elect Donald Trump will be a primary topic of discussion with other leaders.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the itinerary with stops in Greece, Germany and Peru is a signal of solidarity to the country’s closest allies and a way to show “support for a strong and integrated and united Europe.”

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The only major planned speech is in Greece, on Wednesday, addressing work that remains to tackle economic challenges there and elsewhere in the world while promoting inclusive growth and combating inequality.

Rhodes said Obama will also, in talks with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, express support for what the Greek people have gone through in response to their economic crisis that brought international bailouts and strict requirements for cutting spending and public services.

FILE - German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech during the opening ceremony of the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, Sept. 4, 2016. VOA
FILE – German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech during the opening ceremony of the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, Sept. 4, 2016. VOA

Berlin leg

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts Obama for talks Thursday. Rhodes highlighted the importance of the relationship, calling Merkel “the president’s closest partner over the course of his entire presidency.”

The leaders of Britain, France, Italy and Spain will also be in Berlin for meetings Friday that are expected to include the ongoing fight against Islamic State, issues related to migration, the situation in Ukraine, and last week’s U.S. election.

Trump has repeatedly spoken against international agreements reached during Obama’s presidency, including the deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program, the international climate deal that went into effect last month and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that has not cleared the U.S. Congress. He also defeated Obama’s fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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FILE - White House Deputy National Security advisor Ben Rhodes speaks to reporters during a press briefing, Aug. 22, 2014, in Edgartown, Massachusetts. VOA
FILE – White House Deputy National Security advisor Ben Rhodes speaks to reporters during a press briefing, Aug. 22, 2014, in Edgartown, Massachusetts. VOA

Ongoing issues

Rhodes said to reporters in previewing the trip that no matter the outcome of the election, Obama and the rest of his administration have a stake in seeing the next one succeed, and that the world also has a similar interest.

“There are many ongoing issues that we’re working on that are deeply relevant to our security that we will want to discuss, and, again, agreements and alliances that have perpetuated over decades under administrations of many different stripes,” he said.

In terms of the TPP, Obama is expected to meet with the other leaders involved in that deal during his stop in Peru to go over how Trump’s election affects the pact and other trade issues. He also has a meeting scheduled with President Xi Jinping of China, which is not part of the TPP.

FILE - Leaders wave as they pose for a group family photo at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila, Philippines. VOA
FILE – Leaders wave as they pose for a group family photo at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila, Philippines. VOA

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Asia

Obama made the Asia-Pacific region a major focus of his foreign policy, and in Peru his main agenda will be talking with leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Trump could decide on a different stance toward Asia, but Rhodes said that because of the region’s growth and the number of treaty and trade partners the U.S. has there, he believes it will remain a priority. (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)