WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – At times, it was as if Mitt
Romney had come to praise Barack Obama’s foreign policy rather
than to bury it.
Monday night’s foreign policy debate between the Republican
presidential nominee and the Democratic president was striking
for the frequency with which Romney aligned himself with Obama’s
strategies rather than distancing himself from them.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. exports to Iran rose by nearly a third this year, chiefly because of grain sales, according to U.S. data released last week, despite the tightening of U.S. financial sanctions.
The jump to $199.5 million in the first eight months of 2012 from $150.8 million a year earlier, according to Census Bureau data, is surprising given Western efforts to isolate Iran economically because of its suspected pursuit of nuclear arms.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia has forced the United States to close its aid mission in Moscow, the U.S. government said on Tuesday, in a blow to U.S. efforts to improve ties and a step that may aid the Kremlin’s crackdown on pro-democracy groups.
Russia gave the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) until October 1 to cease operations after two decades and more than $2.6 billion spent to combat disease, protect the environment, strengthen civil society and modernize the economy.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government said on Tuesday that it would shut its aid mission in Russia at Moscow’s insistence, a step analysts attributed to Russian misgivings about foreign-funded pro-democracy groups.
The U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, has spent more than $2.6 billion in Russia over the past two decades to help combat infectious diseases, protect the environment, develop a stronger civil society, and modernize the economy.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury sanctioned the leader of the Lebanese militant group and political movement Hezbollah on Thursday for helping Syria crush anti-government protests, as well as two other members for the group’s “terrorist activities” in general.
Sanctions experts described the move against Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as largely symbolic because the penalties – freezing any assets he holds in U.S. banks – had been imposed under earlier U.S. sanctions.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As a mid-level U.S. diplomat, Chris Stevens dreamed up the idea of building bridges with Iran by having the United States extend greetings to the country on Nowruz, the Persian New Year. He took the plan to then-U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who quickly blessed it.
“That was easy,” Stevens told Albright, according to a State Department colleague knowledgeable about the conversation in the late 1990s.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – John Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya killed in the Libyan city Benghazi, was deeply involved in the transition of the North African state and had been U.S. envoy to the rebels who overthrew ruler Muammar Gaddafi last year.
Stevens, the 52-year-old ambassador to Libya since May, was one of four Americans who died when Islamist gunmen stormed the Benghazi consulate and another safe house refuge on Tuesday night.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu appear to have landed in a place neither wanted to be: squabbling about Iran, in public, ahead of a U.S. presidential election.
For the Democratic U.S. president, the dispute risks alienating supporters of Israel in a campaign in which Republican nominee Mitt Romney is eager to drive a wedge between Obama and Jewish voters, and to portray the president as weak.
Religious freedom in Egypt appears to be “quite tenuous” and its government has failed to aggressively prosecute perpetrators of sectarian violence, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Osama bin Laden’s death sent al Qaeda into a decline that will be hard to reverse, the United States said on Tuesday in a report that found terrorist attacks last year fell to their lowest level since 2005.
Describing 2011 as a “landmark year,” the United States said other top al Qaeda members killed last year included Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, reportedly the militant organization’s No. 2 figure after bin Laden’s death, and Anwar al-Awlaki, who led its lethal affiliate in Yemen.