U.S. Foreign Policy Correspondent
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May 22, 2013

Syria rebels call for reinforcements as war spreads abroad

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – The United States and its allies are ready to increase support for Syria’s rebels if President Bashar al-Assad refuses to discuss a political solution to his country’s civil war, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

Rebels called for reinforcements to combat President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, which have launched an offensive in recent days against a strategic town backed by Assad’s allies from Lebanon’s powerful Shi’ite militia Hezbollah.

May 22, 2013

Kerry warns Syria’s Assad against rejecting political solution

AMMAN (Reuters) – Western governments are ready to increase support to opponents of President Bashar al-Assad if he rejects a political solution to Syria’s civil war, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.

Kerry said recent military gains by Assad’s forces were only temporary and that if the Syrian leader believed that the counter-offensives against the rebels would be decisive, “then he is miscalculating”.

May 21, 2013

Kerry visits Oman for arms deal, talks on Syria, Mideast

MUSCAT (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Oman on Tuesday for Raytheon Co’s signing of an estimated $2.1 billion (1.3 billion pounds) arms deal and to consult on Syria and Iran, U.S. officials said.

Oman is expected to sign a letter of intent to purchase a ground-based air defence system that would help protect against cruise missile, drone or fighter aircraft attacks, a senior U.S. State Department official told reporters aboard Kerry’s plane.

May 21, 2013

Kerry visits Oman for arms deal signing, talks on Syria, Mideast

SHANNON, Ireland (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flies to Oman on Tuesday for Raytheon Co’s signing of an estimated $2.1 billion arms deal and to consult on Syria and Iran, U.S. officials said.

Oman is expected to sign a letter of intent to purchase a ground-based air defense system that would help protect against cruise missile or drone attacks, a senior U.S. State Department official told reporters aboard Kerry’s plane.

May 9, 2013

Analysis: After months of deadlock, diplomacy gets another chance in Syria

ROME/MOSCOW (Reuters) – If Russia has decided to make a new diplomatic push to drag Syria’s warring parties into peace talks, it may be because of signs that the United States could slowly get sucked into the conflict.

The two major powers’ joint announcement that they would try to bring together representatives of President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the rebel forces fighting to oust him represents their first serious diplomatic initiative in nearly a year.

May 8, 2013

Kerry sees “short time” to revive Middle East peace bid

ROME (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Wednesday that Washington was trying to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks within a short time frame as he announced his fourth visit to the region this year.

Kerry will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on May 21 or 22, he said after talks in Rome with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is overseeing the Israeli effort to relaunch negotiations.

May 8, 2013

Kerry avoids criticism of Russia on rights record

MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian human rights activists on Wednesday but disappointed many by avoiding any harsh criticism of the Kremlin’s record on civil liberties and democracy.

A day after talks in Moscow at which he and Russian officials agreed to try to bring Syria’s warring parties together to discuss ending a civil war, Kerry discussed with human rights campaigners what they say is a clampdown on dissent by President Vladimir Putin.

May 8, 2013

U.S., Russia seek new Syria peace talks; rebels skeptical

MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Russia and the United States agreed to seek new peace talks with both sides to end Syria’s civil war, but opposition leaders were skeptical on Wednesday of an initiative they fear might let President Bashar al-Assad to cling to power.

Visiting Moscow after Israel bombed targets near Damascus and as President Barack Obama faces renewed calls to arm the rebels, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia had agreed to try to arrange a conference as early as this month.

May 7, 2013

Russia, U.S. to convene Syria peace conference

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia and the United States agreed on Tuesday to convene an international conference, possibly by the end of this month, to try to end the civil war in Syria and prevent bloodshed tearing the country apart.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry announced the agreement after talks in Moscow, despite their countries’ differences over Syria, and said the Damascus government and the rebels fighting it should be invited.

May 7, 2013

Seeking Syria accord, Kerry tells Putin of common ground

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The U.S. secretary of state sought Russian help in ending Syria’s civil war on Tuesday, telling President Vladimir Putin in Moscow that common interest in a stable Middle East could bridge divisions among the big powers.

Putin, however, kept John Kerry waiting three hours before their meeting at the Kremlin, fiddled with a pen while his guest spoke and made no mention in his own public remarks of the conflict in Syria, which has generated some of the frostiest exchanges between Washington and Moscow since the Cold War.

    • 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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