WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States wants Afghanistan’s neighbors to pledge to respect its sovereignty at regional talks this week, a U.S. official said Monday, even as Washington accuses Pakistan and Iran of meddling.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend a conference in Istanbul Wednesday that the United States hopes will bring Afghanistan’s neighbors more directly into efforts to stabilize the country as U.S. troops withdraw.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The State Department may miss a year-end target to approve TransCanada Corp’s Canada-to-Texas Keystone oil sands pipeline, a U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday, risking a further delay to the most important new crude oil conduit in decades.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the State Department still hoped to make a decision by the end of this year, which has been its target, but that its highest priority was to carry out a thorough, rigorous review. The decision has already been pushed back once.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Monday called on Syria to stop its “smear campaign” against the U.S. ambassador, whose recall to Washington was matched by Syria’s decision to bring home its envoy amid a spat over anti-government protests in Syria.
Ambassador Robert Ford had angered the Syrian government by cultivating contacts within the 7-month-old grass-roots movement against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, leading to attacks on his embassy and residence, diplomats said.
AMMAN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Monday it had pulled its ambassador out of Damascus because of threats to his safety in Syria, where protesters are trying to end 41 years of authoritarian rule by the Assad family.
Ambassador Robert Ford had angered the Syrian government by cultivating contacts with the 7-month-old grass-roots movement against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, leading to attacks on his embassy and residence, diplomats said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and North Korea will meet on Monday and Tuesday in Geneva, the U.S. State Department said, but analysts were skeptical wider talks on ending the North’s nuclear programs will resume any time soon.
The State Department stressed that it was looking for “seriousness of purpose” on the part of North Korea about curbing its nuclear ambitions and that it wanted Pyongyang to take steps to demonstrate this before any broader talks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – International mediators will meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials on October 26 in Jerusalem to try to revive direct peace talks that ended more than a year ago, the United States said on Monday.
Instead of meeting face-to-face as the mediators originally sought, the Israelis and Palestinians will hold separate talks with the “Quartet” made up of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama warned Iran on Thursday it would face the toughest possible sanctions for an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington, as officials eyed action against its central bank.
Saudi Arabia on Thursday accused Iran of fomenting instability but pledged a “measured response” over the alleged plot that has heightened tensions between OPEC’s two top oil producers.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Time and money are running short for Hillary Clinton.
After surprising the world in 2009 when she signed up as secretary of state for her Democratic rival President Barack Obama, Clinton has repeatedly said she will stand aside after Obama’s term ends in January 2013, leaving her just 15 months to cement her legacy as America’s top diplomat.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Palestinians’ push for U.N. membership is not going anywhere for now, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday, arguing that they should resume peace talks with Israel quickly.
Clinton told Reuters many nations were making the case to the Palestinians that their formal letter delivered on September 23 seeking U.N. membership would not give them a state and that the only viable path was direct negotiations with Israel.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iran’s alleged ties to a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington will isolate Tehran, strengthen Gulf security alliances and spur stricter enforcement of sanctions against Iranian interests, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.
Clinton said the U.S. announcement that it had foiled the plot demonstrated that Tehran was a “bad guy” and a threat to the world at large.