Related Post: Transcript of Obama Press Conference (9 February)
Related Post: Obama Press Conference - Thumbs-Up for Iran and Russia, Slapdowns for Petraeus and Pakistan
Related Post: Obama on Iran - The Engagement Continues
7:45 p.m. CBS News has corrected its reports: Iranian news agency, not President Ahmadinejad, has requested a meeting with Obama.
7:05 p.m. Getting a Bit Uppity. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has hit back at Vice President Joe Biden, who last week criticised the slow pace on issues like the status of Kirkuk and distribution of oil revenues:
I believe talk about applying pressure on the Iraqi government or taking hard measures against it no longer works. Such speech is out of date, because the government of Iraq knows its responsibilities and acts accordingly in a strong way.
7 p.m. According to CBS News, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has requested a meeting with President Obama.
4:50 p.m. President Obama just used the ploy of "don't act; send it to committee" to foil the military's drive for a quick surge in Afghanistan. The White House has just announced "an interagency review", chaired by former CIA officer and current Brookings Institution fellow Bruce Riedel, to examine US policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan. (cross-posted from the Obama Press Conference thread)
2:40 a.m. Finally, news from Islamabad of the talks between Obama envoy Richard Holbrooke and the Zardari Government. Pakistani officials warned that any US military "surge" must be accompanied by a political strategy including talks with "moderate Taliban". Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, ""Obviously, there are some irreconcilable elements and no one wants to deal with them....But there is a reconcilable element and we should not overlook their importance.
The Pakistani recommendation is in line with the approach proposed by Saudi Arabia and by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, which he highlighted at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday. At the same time, the Afghan Government is wary that Pakistan must be using the "moderate Taliban" to re-establish its influence within Afghanistan.
11:50 a.m. Another Engaging Sign. This time it's with Syria, as the Obama Administration has authorised the sale of spare parts for two ageing Boeing 747s, despite long-standing sanctions against Damascus.
Syria has also signed a memorandum to buy 50 European Airbus passenger jets over the next 20 years.
11:30 a.m. Two NATO soldiers have been killed by a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan.
11 a.m. US envoy Richard Holbrooke has met President Asif Zardari and other Pakistani officials. No word yet on the content of the talks.
10:55 a.m. Right Back at Ya. Hours after President Obama's endorsement of further engagement, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he is ready for dialogue if change is "fundamental" and talks are based on mutual respect.
Morning Update (9:15 a.m. GMT; 4:15 a.m. Washington): We've got full coverage of the foreign-policy sections of President Obama's first press conference, including the transcript, a review of the President's statements from Afghanistan to Pakistan to Russia, and a special analysis of his comments on US-Iran relations.