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Dec 10, 2013

In Qatar talks, U.S. underscores support for Syrian moderates

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar, Dec 10 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense
Secretary Chuck Hagel briefed Qatari leaders on Tuesday about
the effort to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, and he
underscored U.S. support for Syria’s moderate opposition.

Hagel met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad and
Defence Minister Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah on the last day of a
visit to the region to reassure Gulf Arab allies of continuing
U.S. support, despite disagreements over Washington’s policy
toward Syria and its diplomatic overtures to Iran.

Dec 9, 2013

U.S. to fly African troops to Central African Republic to ease violence

WASHINGTON/DOHA, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The U.S. military said on
Monday that it will fly African forces into Central Africa
Republic, responding to a request by France to bolster
international efforts to halt the spread of violence between
Christians and Muslims.

Two U.S. military C-17 aircraft will fly about 850 troops
from Burundi into Central African Republic within the next 24
hours, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Firman, a Pentagon spokesman,
said. It was unclear what U.S. support might follow, but Firman
said consultations were ongoing.

Dec 9, 2013

Pentagon chief Hagel in Pakistan for talks on security, drones

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel discussed the use of U.S. drones against militants in remote areas of Pakistan on Monday during the first visit by a Pentagon chief to the South Asian ally in almost four years.

The United States has a complicated relationship with Pakistan and ties have been further soured by a dispute over unmanned military aircraft the United States uses to target militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas on the Afghan border.

Dec 8, 2013

U.S. defense chief to visit Pakistan for talks with prime minister

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will travel to Pakistan on Monday for talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other senior officials, as the first Pentagon chief to visit Islamabad in nearly four years, a spokesman said.

Hagel announced the Pakistan trip while talking to U.S. troops at Camp Leatherneck in southwestern Afghanistan, where he is on a two-day visit to consult with senior U.S. and Afghan officials and pay a holiday tribute to American forces.

Dec 7, 2013

U.S.-Afghan security pact needs clarity by February – Hagel

KABUL (Reuters) – A NATO meeting in February could become a new deadline for a security pact between the United States and Afghanistan, whose president has been reluctant to sign the deal, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on visit to Kabul.

Hagel arrived in Afghanistan on Saturday to visit troops and senior Afghan officials but, unusually, did not plan to meet President Hamid Karzai, who has resisted signing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) which would govern the U.S. military presence after most NATO forces leave by the end of next year.

Dec 7, 2013

Hagel says U.S. commitment to Middle East security endures

MANAMA (Reuters) – Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel told Gulf Arab leaders on Saturday that the United States has a proven and enduring commitment to Middle East security, backed by diplomatic engagement as well as warplanes, ships, tanks, artillery and 35,000 troops.

The U.S. defense secretary, speaking at a regional security forum, acknowledged Gulf leaders’ concerns about the direction of U.S. policy in the Middle East, especially negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program. But he said the U.S. emphasis on diplomacy should not be misinterpreted.

Dec 7, 2013

Hagel in Kabul amid crisis over vital U.S., Afghan security pact

KABUL (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan for a weekend visit on Saturday but had no plans to meet President Hamid Karzai amid tensions over his refusal to sign a deal governing the post-2014 U.S. military presence, a senior U.S. official said.

Hagel was expected to visit U.S. and international troops across the country and to hold talks with Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi and Interior Minister Umer Daudzai, a Pentagon spokesman, Carl Woog, said in a statement.

Dec 7, 2013

U.S. commitment to Middle East security proven, enduring- Hagel

MANAMA, Dec 7 (Reuters) – The United States has a proven and
enduring commitment to Middle East security, backed by
diplomatic engagement and a fierce array of warplanes, ships,
tanks, artillery and 35,000 troops, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel
told Gulf Arab leaders on Saturday.

The U.S. defense secretary, speaking at a regional security
forum, acknowledged Gulf leaders’ concerns about the direction
of U.S. policy in the Middle East, especially negotiations on
Iran’s nuclear program. But he said the U.S. emphasis on
diplomacy should not be misinterpreted.

Dec 7, 2013

Military power backs U.S. security commitments in Gulf- Hagel

MANAMA, Dec 7 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
said on Saturday the United States would maintain a wide array
of military forces in the Middle East to ensure security in the
volatile region despite diplomatic overtures toward Iran over
its nuclear program.

Hagel, in prepared remarks to the Manama Dialogue security
forum in Bahrain, said the Pentagon had no plan to adjust its
military presence or planning in the region as a result of an
interim accord on Tehran’s nuclear enrichment program.

Dec 6, 2013

Hagel reassures Gulf allies U.S. committed to regional security

MANAMA (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel toured an anti-mine warfare ship in the U.S. Fifth Fleet on Friday to underscore U.S. commitment to Middle East security despite policy differences over Iran and Syria that have angered Washington’s longtime Gulf allies.

His visit to Bahrain, in which he will also speak at the Manama Dialogue security conference, came at a time of regional unease over President Barack Obama’s policies ranging from the cautious U.S. response to Syria’s civil war to the six world powers’ interim deal with Iran on its nuclear program.

    • About David

      "David has been a journalist for 30 years, based in Washington, London, New Delhi, Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He covered the first Gulf war, the Palestinian intifada and the conflict in Kashmir. Since 1998 he has been an editor and reporter in Washington, covering politics, the White House and other stories."
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