Friday Mar 28, 201402:01 AM GMT
People in Rome protest against Obama visit to Italy
People hold a banner reading "Barack Obama, Chief of the Permanent War" as they protest against the visit of US President Barack Obama near the US Embassy in Rome on March 27, 2014.
People hold a banner reading "Barack Obama, Chief of the Permanent War" as they protest against the visit of US President Barack Obama near the US Embassy in Rome on March 27, 2014.
Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:37AM
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Italians have held a demonstration in the capital to express discontent with US President Barack Obama’s visit to their country.

The demonstrators gathered outside the US Embassy in Rome on Thursday, chanting slogans against the US president.

The protesters criticized Washington for its military policies abroad, accused Obama of being a warmonger, and called on him to stop dividing the world.

On Thursday, Obama met Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to discuss a range of issues including the crisis in Ukraine.

Earlier in the day, Obama met with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinal Palace.

The US president is on a six-day tour to Europe, where he is seeking to consolidate a common position among allies on a response to the crisis in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Obama called on Russia to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine or face the consequences of more sanctions, claiming that the Western world is united against Moscow's actions in Crimea.

"We're coordinating around the potential for additional, deeper sanctions should Russia move forward and engage in further incursions in Ukraine," Obama said at a news conference in Brussels after a meeting with European Union leaders.

"If Russia stays on its current course the consequences for the Russian economy will continue to grow," he added.

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum a day earlier, in which nearly 97 percent of the participants voted in favor of the move.

On March 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law the documents officially making Crimea part of the Russian territory. He said the move was carried out based on the international law.

MN/MHB/SS

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