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In a press briefing during French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to the White House, President Barack Obama highlighted the two nations close relationship and alignment on many key issues such as trade (emphasizing the importance of moving the Doha Round forward), nuclear non-proliferation, and holding a hard line with Iran. In turn, Sarkozy discussed his deep commitment to the new Afghanistan strategy and his appreciation for Obama’s support in his G-20 presidency.

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NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff talks to Ali Jalali, Afghanistan’s former interior minister, and Clare Lockhart, a former United Nations adviser to Afghanistan, about corruption in Afghanistan. In light of President Barack Obama’s surprise visit to that country last week, Jalali and Lockhart discuss whether Afghan President Hamid Karzai is now taking up the anti-corruption cause in earnest. Having trouble viewing this video? Click here to watch.

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The New America Foundation hosts Major General Gordon Messenger, the lead spokesman on British operations in Afghanistan and former Commander of the UK Task Force Helmand. Messenger says resources and a strong learning curve have contributed to an uptick in on the ground successes in Afghanistan. In a Q&A with attendees, Messenger answers questions about the withdrawal timeline, Afghan security forces and civilians working alongside military operations.

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,briefed the members of the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, particularly in Gaza. He said that the situation in there is dire and strongly urged Israeli officials to make more land available to Palestinians for crucial sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture.

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NewsHour’s Margaret Warner reports on the counter-terrorism effort in Yemen. With funding from the United States and Britain, Yemen has begun to bolster their indigenous counterterrorism efforts, with a particular focus on keeping international boots off the ground. Having trouble viewing this video? Click here to watch.

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Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton opened the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue by focusing on the heightening and strengthening of a relationship that has been flawed in the past. Clinton says attendees should come to consider security issues in a broad sense, directly addressing Pakistan’s military attendees. Foreign Minister Qureshi followed Clinton’s statements by highlighting the areas in which the two powers must work together and briefly reviewing the history of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

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President Barack Obama addresses the Islamic Republic of Iran in a Nowruz message as he did one year ago. In his address, Obama asks Tehran to tell the international community not what they are against, but rather “what they are for.” This message comes during an impasse in talks between Iran and the international community regarding its nuclear development. Obama says that he is not against nuclear development in Iran, he just wants the process to meet international standards.

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The leader of Britain’s Conservative Party David Cameron says we’re entering a post-globalization period where government is not as strong or powerful as individuals armed with technology. In this TED talk, Cameron discusses where he thinks Conservative Party principles fit in to this theme as well as how behavioral economics can help trends become part of intelligent policy choices.

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Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton discusses U.S.-Russia relations on a trip to Moscow. Clinton said there has been significant progress on a post START treaty and expects a new agreement to be forthcoming. She also said that the U.S. and Russia have been collaborating on various issues of international import such as a diplomatic solution to Iran and Middle East peace talks.

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Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Holbrooke briefs the press on the upcoming U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. Holbrooke announces the impressive Pakistan and U.S. delegations that will be present at the talks and emphasizes that though security is always a priority, these substantive discussions will also encompass other priorities such as the Pakistani economy and energy goals.

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Worldfocus’ Daljit Dhaliwal interviews Michael Kulma of the Asia Society on China’s stance toward the West. After some tough talk by Premier Wen Jiabao at the annual meeting of China’s parliament, some have speculated that Beijing’s stance is once again hardening toward the West. Kulma argues that relations with the West, particularly the United States, have always moved in a cyclical pattern and perhaps now may just be a low point in relations that will inevitably improve.

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In the face of recent disagreements between Israeli and U.S. leadership over new settlements in East Jerusalem, Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton says the two countries are still as close as ever.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at the center of the strain between the two historically linked countries and though he has apologized for poor timing of some of his comments, he has not backed down from his stance. NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown reports on the oscillating relations.

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President Obama announces the National Export Initiative. The initiative is the culmination of the Obama administration’s efforts toward promoting increased American exports. In this vein, the administration has shown interest in joining the TPP, a small pacific trade group that could provide bigger opportunities in the future as the partnership grows.

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The European Union’s new foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, is heading to the Middle East for the first time since her appointment in December. Ashton, who has been recently under for being unqualified for her post, will visit the region’s hot spots and assert the EU’s presence in an area where it is the single largest international donor. Al Jazeera’s Harry Smith reports.

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Judith A. McHale, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on the Future of U.S. Public Diplomacy. McHale says that in the current global landscape, engaging foreign publics is more important than ever. She says taht the State Department is taking putting an emphasis on using public diplomacy to combat extremism.

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The National People’s Congress serves as a platform for the nation’s leaders to come together to reaffirm the national agenda and to more informally lobby for provincial interests. The event is heavily covered by the international media as well as politicians looking to take the pulse of Beijing. Al Jazeera’s Melissa Chan reports from Beijing.

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