ROME (Reuters) – The United States plans to provide medical supplies and food to Syrian fighters, a policy shift to directly help those battling President Bashar al-Assad’s forces on the ground, sources familiar with the matter said.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States continues to oppose providing lethal assistance and said it also will not provide such items as bullet-proof vests, armored-personnel vehicles and military training for now.
MOSCOW/ BERLIN (Reuters) – Russia called on the United States on Tuesday to press the Syrian opposition to hold direct talks with Damascus, saying President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents must appoint negotiators.
The crisis in Syria made up “the bulk of the conversation” between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at talks in Berlin on Tuesday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
BERLIN (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will not bring a peace plan to Israel and the Palestinian Territories next month, but rather intends to listen, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.
Obama’s plan to visit has raised speculation of a new U.S. push to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, stalled since 2010 in a dispute over Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.
LONDON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday complaints against Afghans working for U.S. special forces in Afghanistan would be investigated, a day after Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered U.S. troops to leave a critical battleground province.
Karzai’s spokesman on Sunday said Karzai had decided that all U.S. special forces must leave Wardak Province within two weeks, after accusations that Afghans working for them had tortured and killed innocent people.
LONDON (Reuters) – A senior U.S. official on Sunday urged the Syrian opposition to attend a planned international meeting in Rome this week, saying it was a chance for rebels to make their case for more support.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was dissension among the opposition about the utility of such meetings and some members have signaled they may not attend.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – John Kerry views his first trip as U.S. secretary of state as a listening tour, but the leaders he meets will want to hear whether he has any new ideas on Syria, Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Kerry left Washington on Sunday for London, the first stop on a nine-nation, 11-day trip that will also take him to Berlin, Paris, Rome, Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha before he returns home on March 6.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Major powers plan to offer to ease sanctions barring trade in gold and other precious metals with Iran in return for Iranian steps to shut down the nation’s newly expanded Fordow uranium enrichment plant, Western officials said on Friday.
The officials said the offer is to be presented to Iran at February 26 talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and they acknowledged that it represents a relatively modest update to proposals that the six major powers put forward last year.
WASHINGTON, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Major powers plan to offer to
ease sanctions barring trade in gold and other precious metals
with Iran in return for Iranian steps to shut down the nation’s
newly expanded Fordow uranium enrichment plant, Western
officials said on Friday.
The officials said the offer is to be presented to Iran at
Feb. 26 talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and they acknowledged that
it represents a relatively modest update to proposals that the
six major powers put forward last year.
WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Exports of U.S.
pharmaceuticals to Iran were cut in half last year, according to
data released on Friday, while overall U.S. exports to the
Islamic republic rose about 9 percent because of grain sales.
The official U.S. government statistics appear to support
the claims of sanctions lawyers and some independent experts
that financial sanctions are making it harder for Iranians to
obtain medicine despite loopholes designed to permit such trade.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Western sanctions targeting Iran’s nuclear program contributed to a steep drop in Tehran’s access to global sources of capital last year, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a report to Congress.
Foreign banks cut their lending exposure to Iran by the equivalent of $9.1 billion in 2012, down 53 percent, said the report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters on Thursday.