KABUL (Reuters) – The United States has named Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday, a move that could reinforce Washington’s message to Afghans that they will not be abandoned as the war winds down.
Clinton announced the decision, formally made by President Barack Obama, during her unannounced visit to Kabul where she will meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the eve of a major donors’ conference in Tokyo which will draw pledges for aid.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China will lead talks among the five original nuclear-armed states to define arms control terms, the group said on Friday, a step that might ultimately bring greater clarity about its nuclear arsenal and strategy.
A working group of the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China is expected to launch talks this summer on a glossary of nuclear terms, an arcane but necessary step for wider talks on disarmament.
WASHINGTON, June 28 (Reuters) – The United States gave China
a six-month reprieve from Iran financial sanctions on Thursday,
avoiding a diplomatic spat with a country whose support it needs
to try to quell violence in Syria and rein in Tehran’s nuclear
With Thursday’s decision to grant exceptions to China, which
buys up to a fifth of Iran’s oil exports, and Singapore, which
buys Iranian fuel oil, the Obama administration has now spared
all 20 of Iran’s major oil buyers from its unilateral sanctions.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is expected to extend exceptions on Iran sanctions to China and Singapore, perhaps as early as Thursday, two U.S. government sources said.
“There should be an announcement today,” on China, Iran’s top buyer of crude, and Singapore which buys fuel oil from the OPEC member, said one of the sources.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The ambiguous outcome of Egypt’s revolution leaves Washington no choice but to deal with the country’s both major players, the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, despite its disagreements with each.
Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement long held at arm’s length by the United States, was declared on Sunday to have won Egypt’s presidency.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Events in Egypt, Bahrain and Syria illustrate the limits of U.S. influence in the Middle East following the Arab Spring and a U.S. reluctance, at times, to exercise such clout as it has.
Court rulings in Egypt and in Bahrain this week, analysts say, show the ruling authorities’ desire to maintain their grip on power and the United States’ limited ability to shape events despite its general support for democracy.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is worried Russia may be sending Syria attack helicopters and views Russian claims that its arms transfers to Syria are unrelated to the conflict there as “patently untrue,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.
The comments came as the Pentagon found itself on the defensive for doing business with Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, given concerns in Congress about the firm’s role in arming the Syrian regime.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday implicitly defended Washington’s use of drone strikes to kill suspected militants, just days after one of the aircraft killed one of al Qaeda’s most powerful figures in Pakistan.
The killing of Libyan-born Abu Yahya al-Libi has fuelled an increasingly fierce debate about the legality and morality of the drones, which have become one of the chief U.S. weapons against al Qaeda but which opponents say stretch the definition of the legitimate use of lethal force.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday to hand over power and leave his country, condemning a massacre near the town of Hama that opponents have blamed on his supporters as “unconscionable”.
Clinton said the United States was willing to work with all members of the U.N. Security Council, which includes Russia, on a conference on Syria’s political future as long as it started with the premise that Assad gave way to a democratic government.
BAKU (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed on Wednesday a Russian proposal for a meeting on Syria that would include Iran, saying it was “a little hard to imagine inviting a country that is stage-managing Assad regime’s assault on its people”.
President Bashar al-Assad is fighting a 15-month-old revolt by armed insurgents and peaceful protesters, in which, the United Nations says, more than 10,000 people have been killed.