Andrew's Feed
Feb 28, 2012

U.S., Egypt lurch into perilous limbo on NGO case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. hopes for a quick end to its dispute with Egypt over pro-democracy groups have been dashed, stranding both countries in a dangerous limbo as pressures build on a security partnership that is vital to Washington.

The Obama administration had hoped the row over Egypt’s raids on U.S.-funded groups and its travel bans on a handful of U.S. citizens would conclude this month with a face-saving deal that would release the Americans and put U.S. ties with Cairo back on track.

Feb 23, 2012

U.S. cites progress in shadowy Africa military mission

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Thursday it was making progress with its African allies in its push against Uganda’s notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), but gave no clear end date for the shadowy U.S. military operation unfolding in central Africa.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced in October that he was sending about 100 U.S. troops to help and advise central African countries battling LRA rebels accused of murder, rape and kidnap in a reign of terror dating back to the late 1980s.

Feb 21, 2012

U.S. hints at possibility of arming Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday appeared to open the door to eventually arming the Syrian opposition, saying if a political solution to the crisis were impossible it might have to consider other options.

The comments by a State Department spokeswoman marked a shift in emphasis by Washington, which thus far has stressed its policy of not arming the opposition and has said little about alternatives.

Feb 20, 2012

Mexico, U.S. sign cross-border deep water oil deal

LOS CABOS, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexico and the United States signed an agreement on Monday to help U.S. firms and Mexican oil monopoly Pemex exploit deep water oil resources in the Gulf of Mexico that straddle the countries’ maritime boundaries.

The deal, negotiated last year, will lift the moratorium on oil and gas exploration and production for 1.5 million acres in the Gulf and sets up legal guidelines for companies to jointly develop any trans-boundary reservoirs.

Feb 17, 2012

U.S., EU welcome Iran nuclear letter, suggest talks possible

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and European Union expressed cautious optimism on Friday over prospects that Iran may be willing to engage major powers in new talks, but underscored any resumed negotiations must be sustained and focus on the nuclear issue.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters that Iran’s recent letter to Ashton might mark a step forward.

Feb 17, 2012

U.S., EU welcome Iran nuclear letter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and European Union expressed cautious optimism on Friday over prospects that Iran may be willing to engage major powers in new talks, but underscored any resumed negotiations must be sustained and focus on the nuclear issue.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters that Iran’s recent letter to Ashton might mark a step forward.

Feb 17, 2012

U.S., EU welcome Iran nuclear letter, suggest talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and European Union expressed cautious optimism on Friday over prospects that Iran may be willing to engage major powers in new talks, but underscored any new negotiations must be sustained and focus on the nuclear issue.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters that Iran’s recent letter to Ashton might mark a step forward.

Feb 15, 2012

In growing Syria crisis, Obama has few options

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eleven months into the bloodiest uprising of the “Arab Spring,” U.S. President Barack Obama is staking his Syria policy on a fragile and untested international coalition that has few palatable options for ending the violence.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called the new “Friends of Syria” group, which includes U.S. Arab allies as well as Turkey, the best chance to build up Syria’s fragile opposition and forge a political solution after Russia and China blocked any U.N. moves to resolve the crisis.

Feb 10, 2012

Troubled U.S. “mega-bunker of Baghdad” faces downsizing

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – For critics of U.S.
policy, the huge American embassy in Baghdad came to symbolize
much that was wrong about Washington’s approach to Iraq.

Dubbed “the mega-bunker of Baghdad” by Vanity Fair magazine,
the gargantuan embassy sparked accusations of imperial
overreach, a fortified forward base for U.S. power endured by
penned-in diplomats, guarded by thousands of security
contractors and regarded with suspicion by many Iraqis.

Feb 7, 2012

Syria raises specter of proxy conflict for U.S., Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the Obama administration weighs worst-case scenarios for Syria, one stands out: a civil war that develops into a proxy battle between Arabs and the West on one side, and Russia and Iran on the other.

U.S. officials stress they do not want to play a military role in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown on protests has killed more than 5,000 people and raised fears of a protracted power struggle in a country at the heart of the Arab world.