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Jul 16, 2013

Kerry to meet Palestinians’ Abbas on sixth peacemaking trip

AMMAN (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan on Tuesday as he tries to nudge the Palestinians and Israelis toward a resumption of peace talks that broke down nearly three years ago.

Making his sixth trip to the region since taking office, Kerry will hold talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh before having dinner with Abbas, a senior State Department official said.

Jul 15, 2013

Kerry to discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace with Arabs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will discuss his effort to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks with Arab officials in Jordan on Wednesday, according to the State Department, which declined to comment on whether a resumption may be at hand.

Kerry will leave Washington on Monday night to fly to Amman to see officials from Jordan and the Arab League, which put forward a peace proposal in 2002 that offered full Arab recognition of Israel if it gave up land seized in a 1967 war and accepted a “just solution” for Palestinian refugees.

Jul 15, 2013

U.S. can avoid cutting aid to Egypt in several ways

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House has made clear it is in no hurry to cut off U.S. aid to Egypt now, or perhaps at all, despite the military’s role in toppling Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, and it has several options to avoid doing so.

These range from putting off a decision on whether Mursi’s ouster constituted a military coup, which would trigger a cut-off under U.S. law, to finding that a military coup took place but winning authority from Congress to keep the money flowing.

Jul 14, 2013

Senior U.S. diplomat Burns visits Egypt for talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. diplomat flew to Egypt on Sunday to urge its interim government, military and politicians to move toward an elected civilian government after the army coup that ousted President Mohamed Mursi.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns intends to hold talks with those groups as well as civil society and the business community, the State Department said without clarifying whether he would meet Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

Jul 13, 2013

Obama speaks with Putin on Snowden, but no sign of movement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama raised U.S. concerns directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday over Moscow’s handling of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, but there was no sign of a breakthrough on Washington’s demand that Russia expel him.

Obama and Putin spoke by phone in a discussion that White House spokesman Jay Carney said earlier would largely be about Snowden, who is wanted in the United States for disclosing secret surveillance programs. Carney had accused Russia of providing Snowden a “propaganda platform” to air his complaints about the United States.

Jul 12, 2013

Obama to speak with Putin on Friday: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama planned to raise U.S. concerns directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday about Moscow’s handling of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is wanted in the United States for disclosing secret surveillance programs.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama and Putin would speak by phone about Snowden later in the day, a conversation that was set up in recent days as Washington seeks to persuade Moscow to send Snowden back to the United States to face espionage charges.

Jul 12, 2013

Obama to speak with Putin on Friday, raise Snowden concerns

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama planned to raise U.S. concerns directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday about Moscow’s handling of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is wanted in the United States for disclosing secret surveillance programs.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama and Putin would speak by phone about Snowden later in the day, a conversation that was set up in recent days as Washington seeks to persuade Moscow to send Snowden back to the United States to face espionage charges.

Jul 9, 2013

U.S. says encouraged by Egyptian transition plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday cautiously welcomed a plan from Egypt’s interim government to hold quick elections but did not address “the elephant in the room” of whether a military coup had taken place.

Less than a week after the army toppled President Mohamed Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s interim head of state Adli Mansour announced that parliamentary elections would be held in about six months, followed by presidential elections.

Jun 13, 2013

If U.S. does not arm Syria’s rebels, Arabs, Europeans may

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Among the consequences facing U.S. President Barack Obama if he decides against arming Syria’s rebels is that Arab and European states may step in more aggressively, perhaps further fracturing rebel forces.

Having watched government forces seize the strategic town of Qusair from the rebels last week, Obama’s senior national security advisers have held a series of meetings on what more, if anything, they are willing to do to help the opposition.

Jun 10, 2013

U.S. holds high-level meetings on Syria, including on arming rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States could decide as early as this week whether to arm Syrian rebels, U.S. officials said on Monday, as Secretary of State John Kerry put off a Middle East trip to attend meetings on the subject.

The meetings are taking place as the battlefield has tilted against the rebels in the Syrian civil war as Lebanese Hezbollah has entered the fray on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, helping his forces retake the strategic town of Qusair last week.

    • 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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