U.S. Foreign Policy Correspondent
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May 11, 2015

Putin, Kerry to discuss Ukraine, Syria, Iran, U.S. says

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, on Tuesday to discuss Ukraine and other issues, the United States said on Monday in a statement that made no mention of their deep disagreements.

Relations between Russia and the West are at their lowest ebb since the end of the Cold War because of Moscow’s March 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its backing for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. The West has imposed economic sanctions on Russia, triggering retaliatory measures by Moscow.

Apr 28, 2015

U.S., Japan unveil new defense guidelines for global Japanese role

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Japan and the United States unveiled new guidelines for defense cooperation on Monday, reflecting Japan’s willingness to take on a more robust international role at a time of growing Chinese power and rising concerns about nuclear-armed North Korea.

Washington told Japanese leaders its commitment to Japan’s security remained “iron-clad” and covered all territories under Tokyo’s administration, including tiny East China Sea islets that Japan disputes with Beijing.

Apr 27, 2015

Kerry says Iran, world powers closer than ever to historic nuclear deal

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States and five other major powers are closer than ever to a deal with Iran that would end a 12-year-old nuclear standoff, though more tough negotiations lie ahead, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.

Kerry was speaking at the United Nations on the opening day of a month-long conference taking stock of the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and ahead of a meeting in New York with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, their first face-to-face encounter since recent marathon talks in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Apr 27, 2015

U.S., Japan to unveil new defense guidelines amid China’s rise

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Japanese military could expand its role and missions around the world under new U.S.-Japan defense guidelines that are expected to be released on Monday and may cause unease in China.

A centerpiece of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s U.S. visit this week, the guidelines are part of Abe’s wider signal that Japan is ready to take more responsibility for its security as China modernizes its military and flexes its muscles in Asia.

Apr 24, 2015

Arctic nations to fight climate change despite Russia tensions

IQALUIT, Nunavut (Reuters) – The eight Arctic Council nations pledged on Friday to do more to combat climate change that is shrinking the vast frigid region, with countries trying to put aside disputes over issues like Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.

Meeting in the Canadian town of Iqaluit, 300 km (200 miles) south of the Arctic Circle, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States pledged to work to address emissions of black carbon and methane.

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.

    • 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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