U.S. Foreign Policy Correspondent
Arshad's Feed
Oct 22, 2013

Syrian opposition resists calls to commit to peace talks

LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Syria’s opposition in exile
resisted calls from Western and Arab countries on Tuesday to
commit to attending peace talks, saying they would not take part
if there was any chance President Bashar al-Assad could cling to
power.

Eleven countries meeting in London pressed the opposition
National Coalition to join talks to end a conflict that has
killed over 100,000 people, but the group listed conditions and
said it would decide in the coming weeks whether to attend.

Oct 22, 2013

Syria peace talks plans in jeopardy after opposition, Saudi moves

LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Plans for talks to end the
fighting in Syria were in jeopardy on Tuesday after the
opposition refused to attend unless President Bashar al-Assad is
forced from power and a furious Saudi Arabia made clear it would
no longer co-operate with the United States over the civil war.

Western nations and their Middle Eastern allies pressed
Syria’s fractured opposition to join the proposed peace talks,
although Assad has indicated he will not bow to opposition
demands that he should step down as a pre-condition.

Oct 22, 2013

West pushes Syrian opposition to attend peace talks

LONDON (Reuters) – Western nations and their Middle Eastern allies pressed Syria’s fractured opposition on Tuesday to join proposed peace talks, although President Bashar al-Assad has made clear he will not step down – which is their condition for participating.

The United States and Russia said in May they would convene a “Geneva 2″ conference to try to end a conflict that has killed well over 100,000 people and forced millions from their homes, but it faces huge obstacles and no firm date has been set.

Oct 21, 2013

U.S. sees Syria’s Assad strengthened by rise of Islamist groups

PARIS, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The rise of Islamist groups
fighting Syria’s Western-backed rebels has emboldened the Syrian
government and will make it harder to extract concessions from
Damascus at any peace talks, a U.S. official said on Monday.

The United States hopes to bring moderate elements of the
Syrian opposition together with the government at a peace
conference tentatively expected next month in Geneva to try to
end a two-and-a-half year civil war in which more than 100,000
people have died.

Oct 21, 2013

France summons U.S. ambassador over spying report

LUXEMBOURG/PARIS, Oct 21 (Reuters) – France summoned the
U.S. ambassador on Monday after a report in Le Monde newspaper
underlined the scale and breadth of alleged spying on French
citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency.

The allegations that the agency collected tens of thousands
of French phone records tested France’s relations with
Washington just as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in
Paris for the start of a European tour over Syria.

Oct 21, 2013

U.S. tries to calm Saudi anger over Syria, Iran

PARIS/KUWAIT (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought on Monday to calm rising tensions with Saudi Arabia, which has spurned a U.N. Security Council seat in fury at inaction over the crisis in Syria.

Saudi Arabia rejected a coveted two-year term on the council on Friday in a rare display of anger over what it called “double standards” at the United Nations. Its stance won praise from its Gulf Arab allies and Egypt.

Oct 12, 2013

U.S. quietly observes coup law on Egypt aid, but shuns term

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite withholding most military aid to Egypt until it makes progress on democracy and human rights, the U.S. government is still tying itself in knots over whether to describe July’s army overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi as a “coup.”

The administration’s latest rhetorical gymnastics came to light when U.S. officials briefed Congress this week on their decision to withhold deliveries of fighter planes, tanks, helicopters and missiles – as well as $260 million in budget aid to Egypt.

Oct 12, 2013

Exclusive – U.S. quietly observes coup law on Egypt aid, but shuns term

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite withholding most military aid to Egypt until it makes progress on democracy and human rights, the U.S. government is still tying itself in knots over whether to describe July’s army overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi as a “coup.”

The administration’s latest rhetorical gymnastics came to light when U.S. officials briefed Congress this week on their decision to withhold deliveries of fighter planes, tanks, helicopters and missiles – as well as $260 million in budget aid to Egypt.

Oct 9, 2013

U.S. withholds military, economic aid for Egypt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles as well as cash assistance from Egypt’s military-backed government pending progress on democracy and human rights.

The decision, described by senior U.S. officials and a congressional source, is a signal of U.S. unhappiness with the course that Egypt has taken since its army on July 3 ousted the country’s first democratically elected president, Islamist Mohamed Mursi.

Oct 9, 2013

U.S. leans toward withholding most military aid from Egypt: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is leaning toward withholding most military aid to Egypt except to promote counterterrorism, security in the Sinai Peninsula that borders Israel, and other such priorities, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

The official said U.S. President Barack Obama had not made a final decision on the issue, which has vexed U.S. officials as they balance a desire to be seen promoting democracy and rights with a desire to keep up some cooperation with Egypt’s military.

    • 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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