U.S. Foreign Policy Correspondent
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Jan 16, 2014

U.S. urges Syria rebels to attend peace talks, slams government

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States urged Syria’s opposition on Thursday to attend January 22 peace talks and criticized its government for suggesting the meeting should be about fighting terrorism rather than forging a political settlement.

The comments by Secretary of State John Kerry, less than a week before the talks are to begin, suggest some uncertainty by the United States over whether the opposition will show up at the U.N.-hosted conference in Montreux, Switzerland.

Jan 12, 2014

Obama hails Iran deal, argues against new sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama hailed an agreement struck on Sunday to curb Iran’s nuclear program over six months and argued that imposing additional U.S. sanctions could scupper the deal.

“Now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed,” Obama said in a written statement after the European Union said that Iran and six major powers had reached an accord to implement a November 24 nuclear agreement with Iran.

Jan 6, 2014

Iran rejects U.S. suggestion of Syrian peace talks role

ANKARA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Iran on Monday appeared to rule out participation in Syrian peace talks later this month, dismissing a U.S. suggestion that it could be involved “from the sidelines” as not respecting its dignity.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Sunday there might be ways Iran could “contribute from the sidelines” in a so-called Geneva 2 peace conference in Switzerland on January 22, and on Monday U.S. officials said Tehran might still be able to play a helpful role.

Jan 6, 2014

Saudi King backs Israeli-Palestinian push, Kerry says

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi King Abdullah offered his “enthusiastic support” to U.S. efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday.

The U.S. diplomat made the comment after some two hours and 40 minutes of talks with the Arab monarch, who in 2002 floated a plan to try to bring peace to the Israelis and Palestinians.

Jan 5, 2014

Syria rebels push al Qaeda back; U.S. open to Iran role

AMMAN/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Syrian rebel fighters loyal to al Qaeda ceded ground near the Turkish border to rival Islamists on Sunday, activists said, in what seemed to be a tactical withdrawal to end clashes between Syrian- and foreign-led opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.

As Syria’s civil war gets ever more complex amid a broad regional confrontation between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims, the United States raised the prospect of Assad’s sponsor Iran, the Shi’ite power long at odds with Washington and its Sunni Arab allies, playing some role in this month’s Syrian peace talks.

Jan 5, 2014

Kerry says Israel and Palestinians progressing on peace “puzzle”

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday the Israelis and Palestinians were making some progress in peace talks, though there was still a chance no accord would be reached.

Speaking before he flew to Jordan and Saudi Arabia to brief their rulers about his 10th visit to the region to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Kerry said both sides had a sharper idea of the compromises needed to secure an agreement.

Jan 5, 2014

Kerry says Israel, Palestinians making progress on peace ‘puzzle’

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday the Israelis and Palestinians were making some progress in peace talks, though there was still a chance no accord would be reached.

Speaking before he flew to Jordan and Saudi Arabia to brief them about his 10th set of meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Kerry said both sides had a sharper idea of the compromises needed to secure an agreement.

Jan 5, 2014

Kerry says Israel, Palestinians grappling with peace “puzzle”

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday the Israelis and Palestinians were making some progress in peace talks, though there was still a chance no accord would be reached.

Speaking before he flew to Jordan and Saudi Arabia to brief their rulers on the talks, Kerry said both sides had a sharper idea of the compromises needed to secure an agreement despite their deep scepticism on the chances of success.

Jan 5, 2014

Kerry says Iran could help on sideline of Syrian peace talks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday Iran could play a role on the sidelines of Syrian peace talks, the first sign he might accept some participation from Tehran amid a thawing of relations between the two countries.

Washington, and Syrian opposition groups, have long objected to any involvement from Iran, the main regional ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the near three-year uprising against his rule.

Jan 4, 2014

Kerry sees progress on Israeli-Palestinian framework deal

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Israel and the Palestinians are making progress towards a “framework agreement” to guide their talks on a formal peace deal but still have some way to go, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday.

Speaking after extensive, separate talks with Palestinian and Israeli leaders, Kerry sounded somewhat hopeful about the chances of ending the conflict, despite misgivings voiced recently by both sides and a lack of tangible signs of movement.

    • 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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