U.S. Foreign Policy Correspondent
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Apr 20, 2015

U.S. says might talk to Iran about regional stability, cites Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Monday it might talk with Iran about promoting regional stability, noting it had been open to including Iran in past efforts to achieve a Syrian peace deal if Tehran had altered its policy.

But it drew a distinction between talking to Iran about issues beyond its nuclear program and actually working with Tehran on such matters, something Washington has ruled out.

Apr 16, 2015

U.S. Iran bill makes nuclear deal harder, but not impossible

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A compromise allowing the U.S. Congress to vote on a nuclear deal with Tehran may prompt Iranian negotiators to drive a harder bargain, but does not drastically weaken President Barack Obama’s ability to deliver on a final agreement.

For months Obama resisted attempts led by Republicans and some Democrats to open an agreement with Iran to congressional approval. On Tuesday he backed down in the face of mounting bipartisan support for the bill, which gives Congress at least 30 days to review a final deal during which time Obama would be unable to waive or suspend many U.S. sanctions.

Apr 13, 2015

Kerry to ask Congress for more time and space on Iran deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will make the case this week to skeptical Republicans and Democrats that the U.S. Congress should give him another two and a half months to secure a final nuclear deal with Iran.

In closed briefings with the full House of Representatives on Monday and the Senate on Tuesday, the chief U.S. diplomat also hopes to blunt legislation that would giving Congress the opportunity to approve or reject sanctions relief in the deal.

Apr 11, 2015

Exclusive: Iraq’s leader to seek arms, with deferred payment, on U.S. visit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraq’s prime minister will seek President Barack Obama’s help to acquire billions of dollars in drones and other U.S. arms to fight Islamic State during a U.S. visit next week, but will request deferment of payments for the purchases, a senior Iraqi official said.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi is grappling with an insurgency by militants from Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that emerged from the chaos in Iraq and neighboring Syria and seized much of northern and central Iraq last year.

Apr 3, 2015

Iran deal may vindicate Obama’s view that diplomacy trumps force

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Barack Obama ran for president in part on the proposition that it was time to end the United States’ wars abroad and find ways to resolve conflicts without force.

Thursday’s interim nuclear deal with Iran was the biggest achievement so far of this “open-hand” diplomacy and may have helped secure a foreign policy legacy that, for now, is mixed at best.

Mar 31, 2015

Obama ends freeze on U.S. military aid to Egypt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States announced on Tuesday it was lifting its hold on the supply of military equipment to Egypt, which was frozen when the military took power in Cairo nearly two years ago.

The White House said President Barack Obama was freeing up the equipment and making other changes to military ties with Washington’s long-time ally to support U.S. interests while encouraging Egypt’s political reforms.

Mar 31, 2015

U.S. officials cautiously positive about Nigeria’s Buhari after election

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nigerian opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari, who appears to have defeated President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria’s weekend election, won a cautious endorsement from two U.S. officials on Tuesday.

Buhari’s opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) claimed victory and said Jonathan had called Buhari to concede the presidency of Africa’s most populous country and top oil producer. Reuters compiled a final tally of the results that showed Buhari with 15.4 million votes against 13.3 million for Jonathan.

Mar 31, 2015

U.S. official cautiously optimistic on Nigeria’s Buhari after election

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nigerian opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari, who appears to have defeated President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria’s weekend election, won a cautious endorsement from a U.S. official on Tuesday.

Buhari’s opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) claimed victory and said Jonathan had called Buhari to concede the presidency of Africa’s most populous country and top oil producer.

Mar 19, 2015

U.S. State Dept. Archives fewer emails than previously disclosed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department does not automatically archive the emails of its assistant secretaries of state, U.S. officials said on Thursday, contradicting the agency’s prior public statement.

Assistant secretaries, who include the top diplomats for regions such as Europe, the Middle East and East Asia, are not among the group of senior officials whose emails have been systematically captured since February, the officials said.

Mar 19, 2015

Exclusive: U.S. likely to delay planned closure of two Afghanistan bases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military bases in Kandahar and Jalalabad are likely to remain open beyond the end of 2015, a senior U.S. official said, as Washington considers slowing its military pull-out from Afghanistan to help the new government fight the Taliban.

The anticipated policy reversal reflects the U.S. embrace of Afghanistan’s new and more cooperative president, Ashraf Ghani, and a desire to avoid the kind of collapse of local security forces that occurred in Iraq after the U.S. pull-out there.

    • 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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