U.S. Foreign Policy Correspondent
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Jan 14, 2015

Kerry and Zarif unexpectedly resume nuclear talks in Geneva

GENEVA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif held intensive talks on Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme on Wednesday, returning for an evening session, officials said.

Iran and six world powers have renewed their quest for an elusive nuclear deal — seen as crucial to reducing the risk of a wider Middle East war — after negotiators failed for the second time in November to meet a self-imposed deadline.

Jan 14, 2015

Iran’s Zarif seeks progress in nuclear talks with Kerry

GENEVA (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his pending meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday was important to see if progress could be made in narrowing differences on his country’s disputed nuclear programme.

Zarif, asked whether the session was key to setting the stage for the more detailed nuclear negotiations this week, told reporters minutes before his encounter with Kerry in Geneva: “I think it’s important. I think it will show the readiness of the two parties to move forward and to speed up the process.”

Jan 13, 2015

Kerry urges Pakistan to fight terror groups threatening region

ISLAMABAD, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Pakistan must fight militant
groups that threaten Afghan, Indian and U.S. interests, U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday as he offered
sympathy for the victims of last month’s massacre of children at
a Pakistani school.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan has long been suspected by the West
of playing a double game, fighting some militants while
supporting those its generals have regarded as strategic assets
to be used against rivals and neighbours, India and Afghanistan.

Jan 12, 2015

U.S. Kerry lands in Pakistan for talks on security

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Pakistan on Monday on an unannounced trip to urge the government to do more to crack down on militant groups following last month’s massacre of 134 children by Taliban gunmen.

Kerry is due to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief Raheel Sharif as he aims both to offer sympathy and to galvanise Pakistan to combat militants who have used its territory to attack neighbouring Afghanistan and India.

Jan 11, 2015

Solar, nuclear, climate progress possible on Obama India visit

GANDHINAGAR, India (Reuters) – There could be progress on U.S.-India civil nuclear cooperation, solar power and climate change when U.S. President Barack Obama visits India in two weeks, U.S. officials said on Sunday.

While stressing there were no guarantees that some of the most vexing economic issues between India and the United States would be resolved, the officials said some agreements were conceivable.

Jan 6, 2015

U.S. stands by plan to pull troops from Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Monday stood by plans to halve the number of its troops in Afghanistan this year and reduce them further in 2016 following Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s suggestion that President Barack Obama review his deadline.

But Ghani’s comment adds to a growing debate over whether the White House will stick to its plans, already amended twice, of cutting U.S. troops to about 5,000 by the end of this year and drawing down to a “normal” U.S. embassy presence in Kabul at the end of 2016.

Dec 19, 2014

U.S. reaches out to China, others, for help on Sony hack

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – The United States has sought
help from China, Japan, South Korea and Russia in combating
cyber attacks such as the one Washington on Friday accused North
Korea of carrying out against Sony Pictures, U.S. officials

The outreach, which included meetings among U.S. and Chinese
officials in both nations’ capitals, is a tacit acknowledgement
that if anyone has influence over Pyongyang it is China, given
its long border, historical ties and quiet trade with the North.

Nov 17, 2014

State Department’s unclassified email systems hacked

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The State Department’s unclassified email systems were the victim of a cyberattack in recent weeks, around the same time as White House systems were breached, a senior U.S. official said on Monday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no classified systems were compromised. Portions of State’s unclassified systems have been shut down to improve security but should be back online shortly.

Nov 7, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. weighs sanctions on Libyan factions to try to halt proxy war

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is considering imposing sanctions on Libya’s combative factions to try to prevent a proxy conflict fueled by regional powers from erupting into full-blown civil war and force militant leaders to negotiate, U.S. officials said.

Three years after Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall, outside intervention has exacerbated the fighting, with Qatar and, to some degree, Turkey supporting Islamist-linked forces and Egypt and the United Arab Emirates backing more secular rivals.

Oct 23, 2014

Iran will be seen as responsible if nuclear talks fail: U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iran will be widely seen to be responsible if a comprehensive deal to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief is not reached, the top U.S. negotiator said on Thursday.

U.S. Under-Secretary of State Wendy Sherman also said major powers negotiating with Iran have offered it ideas that are “equitable, enforceable and consistent with Tehran’s expressed desire for a viable civilian nuclear program.”

    • About Arshad

      "I cover U.S. foreign policy for Reuters from a base at the State Department. I joined Reuters in 1988 and have worked as a correspondent in New York, Paris, Algiers and Washington, where I have covered the White House (1996-2002) and the State Department (2002-2005, 2006-present)."
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