Medvedev and Hu meetings on Obama Asia agenda
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will hold bilateral meetings with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Chinese President Hu Jintao and other leaders during his upcoming trip to Asia, White House officials said on Thursday.
Obama leaves on November 5 for a 10-day trip that will take him to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. He is attending a G20 summit in Seoul and an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Yokohama.
Obama will meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other officials in India, his first stop on the November 5-14 trip.
In Indonesia, he will meet with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on November 9, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told a news conference.
Obama will hold a bilateral meeting in Seoul on November 11 with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
He also will meet with Hu on November 11 on the sidelines of the G20 in Seoul. They will discuss the global economy, trade, North Korea, Iran and other issues. [nN28214554]
In Japan, Obama will meet with November 13 with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Australia's new prime minister, Julia Gillard, his first meeting with her since her government was sworn in last month.
"Australia's obviously one of our closest allies in the region, and the world as well," Rhodes said.
On November 14, also on the sidelines of APEC, Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Medvedev.
"This, of course, is one of the president's closest and most active relationships with any foreign leader," Rhodes said.
He said they would discuss a range of issues, including Moscow's bid for World Trade Organization membership, and cooperation on issues like nonproliferation, nuclear security and other security issues.
The White House wants the Senate to vote on whether to ratify a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia that would result in a modest cut in both countries' new arsenals during its "lame duck" session after Tuesday's elections but before a new session convenes with newly elected members.
Opposition Republicans are expected to cut into, or even eliminate, the majorities that Obama's fellow Democrats now hold in both houses of Congress in the November 2 vote.
Obama will also hold four news conferences during the trip, one with Singh, one with Yudhoyono, one with Lee and another at the conclusion of the G20, Rhodes said.