Andrew's Feed
Nov 4, 2011

U.S. sees “beginning of transition” in Myanmar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is loosening some travel restrictions and discussing new aid for Myanmar in response to its tentative reforms, but must see more progress on political prisoners and other issues before it can lift sanctions, senior U.S. officials said on Friday.

Michael Posner, the State Department’s top human rights official, and Derek Mitchell, Washington’s new special envoy for Myanmar, wrapped up a trip pledging more U.S. help for the isolated Southeast Asian country as it seeks to shake off its pariah status.

Nov 3, 2011

U.S. warns on new Gaza-bound activist flotilla

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States warned on Thursday that a new effort by pro-Palestinian activists to send a flotilla to challenge Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip was dangerous and urged U.S. citizens not to take part.

Activists set sail from Turkey on Wednesday aboard two yachts carrying medical supplies. The Israeli military said it would not permit them to breach its blockade.

Nov 3, 2011

U.S., peace talks hurt most by Palestinian UNESCO bid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Palestinians’ success in joining UNESCO and Israel’s immediate retaliation has two main casualties: the peace process and the Obama administration.

Monday’s vote by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization to grant full Palestinian membership despite U.S. and Israeli objections exposed how little leverage Washington has on either side. It forced the Obama administration to withhold $60 million from the agency.

Nov 2, 2011

Analysis: U.S., peace talks hurt most by Palestinian UNESCO bid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Palestinians’ success in joining UNESCO and Israel’s immediate retaliation has two main casualties: the peace process and the Obama administration.

Monday’s vote by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization to grant full Palestinian membership despite U.S. and Israeli objections exposed how little leverage Washington has on either side. It forced the Obama administration to withhold $60 million from the agency.

Nov 2, 2011

Keystone ruling may fall back as Obama weighs in

CALGARY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The decision on the controversial Canada-to-Texas Keystone pipeline could slip into next year, a State Department official acknowledged on Wednesday, a day after President Barack Obama said for the first time that the final decision rests with him.

TransCanada’s $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline is at the center of a political firestorm with green groups and some landowners along the pipe’s route mounting formidable opposition to the project that will transport Canadian oil sands crude to the U.S. Gulf coast.

Nov 2, 2011

Keystone ruling faces delay as Obama weighs in

CALGARY/WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – The decision on the
controversial Canada-to-Texas Keystone pipeline could slip into
next year, a U.S. State Department official acknowledged on
Wednesday, a day after President Barack Obama said for the
first time that the final decision rests with him.

TransCanada’s $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline is
at the center of a political firestorm with green groups and
some landowners along the pipe’s route mounting formidable
opposition to the project that will transport Canadian oil
sands crude to the U.S. Gulf coast.

Oct 27, 2011

U.S. can fight, talk its way to ending Afghan war: Clinton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday defended the White House’s twin strategy for ending the war in Afghanistan, saying it could battle insurgents even as it tries to nudge them toward a peace deal.

Clinton faced questions from the House Foreign Affairs Committee about President Barack Obama’s hopes to clinch a peace deal between the Taliban and its militant allies, such as the Haqqani network, and the Afghan government, which would allow foreign forces to safely withdraw.

Oct 26, 2011

U.S. plans “virtual embassy” for Iran: Clinton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to open a “virtual embassy” for Iran that will give Iranians online information about visas and student exchange programs despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.

Clinton, in interviews with the Persian language services of the BBC and Voice of America, defended U.S. sanctions against Iran and said Washington had a strong criminal case linking Tehran to a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

Oct 24, 2011
via FaithWorld

Clinton warns Central Asian leaders on radical Islam

Photo

(U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a town hall discussion in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, October 22, 2011S/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on Saturday that efforts to crack down on religious freedom might backfire. She said this could lead to increased sympathy for radical views in Central Asia, a region the United States sees as key to the future stability of Afghanistan.

Oct 22, 2011

Clinton warns Tajikistan on stoking radical Islam

DUSHANBE (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Tajikistan on Saturday that efforts to crack down on religious freedom might backfire and increase sympathy for radical views that could threaten stability in the Central Asian country.

Clinton, who met Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon on a trip to thank two Central Asian states for their cooperation in the U.S.-led war in neighboring Afghanistan, said freedom of religious expression was tied to the region’s future security.