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Sep 28, 2012

U.S. call for “cool heads” in China-Japan island dispute goes unheeded

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China and Japan on Thursday to let “cool heads” prevail in a festering dispute over a cluster of East China Sea islands, but hours later Chinese and Japanese diplomats traded barbs at the United Nations.

Clinton met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of this week’s U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York and said it was important to ratchet down the quarrel over the islands that has soured ties between Asia’s two largest economies, a senior State Department official said.

Sep 25, 2012

Clinton reassures Egypt’s Mursi on U.S. assistance

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reassured Egypt’s new Islamist president on Monday that the United States would forge ahead with plans to expand economic assistance despite anti-American protests that cast new shadows over U.S. engagement with the region.

Clinton met Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi in New York, where both are attending this week’s U.N. General Assembly meeting, and reinforced the Obama administration’s continued commitment to provide both military and economic aid for Cairo, a senior State Department official said.

Sep 17, 2012

Amid unrest, Clinton to lobby lawmakers on Mideast aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lobby lawmakers this week on the need to keep billions of dollars in aid flowing to Egypt and other countries caught up in a spasm of violent anti-American protests across the Muslim world.

The State Department said Clinton intended to meet with Congress later this week to discuss the protests, which saw U.S. diplomatic missions attacked and the U.S. ambassador to Libya killed amid fury over a film produced in the United States that many saw as an insult to Islam.

Sep 14, 2012

Libya tragedy may boost U.S. diplomatic fortifications

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The fortifications that mark U.S. Embassies around the world are likely to grow even more impregnable after this week’s killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, creating new hurdles for U.S. diplomats as they struggle to understand foreign societies in a period of rapid political change.

President Barack Obama said on Thursday he had ordered his administration to do whatever is necessary to protect Americans abroad, as U.S. diplomatic compounds around the Middle East faced another day of violent protests.

Sep 13, 2012

Libya tragedy may boost U.S. diplomatic fortifications: again

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The fortifications that mark U.S. Embassies around the world are likely to grow even more impregnable after this week’s killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, creating new hurdles for U.S. diplomats as they struggle to understand foreign societies in a period of rapid political change.

President Barack Obama said on Thursday he had ordered his administration to do whatever is necessary to protect Americans abroad, as U.S. diplomatic compounds around the Middle East faced another day of violent protests.

Sep 12, 2012

Smoke, confusion and a missing ambassador in Libya attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Security personnel were separated from the U.S. ambassador to Libya during the attack in which he was killed, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, describing a chaotic scene of smoke, gunfire and confusion as the American consulate in Benghazi came under assault.

The officials said the attack began at roughly 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday, with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, information technology specialist Sean Smith and one security officer trapped under fire in the burning consulate building.

Sep 9, 2012

Clinton urges cool heads in Japan-South Korea island dispute

VLADIVOSTOK (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday she believed Japan and South Korea were ready to tone down a row over a disputed island chain that has set two close U.S. allies at odds amid heightened regional tensions with China.

Clinton said she met Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak while attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Vladivostok and urged them to step back from confrontation.

Sep 9, 2012

After Russia talks, Clinton sees divisions on Syria

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) – Sharp divisions remain with Moscow over the Syria crisis, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday, as she wrapped up an Asia tour in which she also made little headway with China on easing tensions in the South China Sea.

Clinton said she had made the case for increasing pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, but had come away pessimistic about the chances of closing the gap before the U.N. General Assembly this month.

Sep 8, 2012

U.S. designates Haqqani network a terrorist group

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Friday it is designating the Pakistan-based Haqqani network a terrorist organization, triggering sanctions against a group American officials blame for high-profile attacks in Afghanistan, and which they say has ties to the Pakistani state.

The decision to blacklist the Haqqani network, announced by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a trip to Russia, could heighten tensions between Washington and Islamabad and have far-reaching implications for any reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

Sep 8, 2012

Clinton sees Russia trade move soon, at odds on Syria

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress
could move this month to upgrade trade relations with Moscow,
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday, but Russia
made clear after talks that big differences remained on Syria
and Iran.

Clinton, in Russia for a summit of countries on the Pacific
Rim, said the U.S. government was working closely with Congress
on lifting the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment, Cold War-era
legislation that has blocked normal trade privileges for Russia.