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Sep 18, 2014

Obama nominates Indian-American as ambassador to India

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama nominated former State Department official Richard Verma as U.S. ambassador to India on Thursday, just ahead of a visit to Washington by new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a White House statement said.

Verma, an Indian-American, served as assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs at the State Department in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011.

Sep 18, 2014

Obama to nominate Indian-American as India ambassador

WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will
nominate former State Department official Richard Verma as U.S.
ambassador to India, just ahead of a visit to Washington by new
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, White House officials said
on Thursday.

Verma, an Indian-American, served as assistant secretary of
state for legislative affairs at the State Department in the
Obama administration from 2009 to 2011.

Sep 17, 2014

U.S. to press India on trade row during Modi’s Washington visit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it will press India’s new prime minister to end his blockage of a global trade pact when he visits Washington this month, something that could dampen the mood of a trip aimed at revitalizing strategic ties.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal said India “does itself a discredit” by blocking the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) reached in Bali last year, rekindling a dispute that overshadowed an Aug. 1 meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Sep 12, 2014

China’s military secrecy justifies surveillance flights: U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is justified in carrying out surveillance flights in East Asia, in spite of Chinese objections, given a lack of transparency in China’s military buildup, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.

Beijing called last month for the United States to cut back, or even stop, close surveillance by patrol aircraft if it seriously sought to repair damaged bilateral ties.

Sep 12, 2014

Ahead of trial, U.S. says North Korea using Americans as ‘pawns’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Just before one of three Americans detained in North Korea is due to go on trial, a senior U.S. official on Friday accused the communist Asian country of using U.S. citizens as human “pawns.”

North Korea’s state media earlier this week reported that Matthew Miller, a 26-year-old from Bakersfield, California, arrested in April for tearing up his visa upon arrival in the isolated country, would go on trial on Sunday. It did not say what charge he faced.

Sep 9, 2014

Wife of China dissident appeals to Obama and Kerry to aid reunion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The wife of a prominent Chinese dissident appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday to make a public call for her husband to be allowed to travel to the United States, saying he was in “alarmingly poor health” and needed medical treatment.

Human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was released from jail in August after three years in prison, but remains under house arrest in China. His family and human rights groups say he was physically and psychologically abused by prison authorities.

Aug 29, 2014

U.S., China plan followup to Sunnylands summit in November

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, at odds over China’s increasing assertiveness in Asia and issues such as cyberspying, plan a followup to their informal summit in California last year after November’s APEC summit in Beijing.

Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group will meet in Beijing on Nov. 10 and 11. Obama plans to stay in China for a bilateral meeting with Xi on Nov. 12 before heading on for an East Asia summit in Myanmar and a G20 meeting in Australia.

Aug 25, 2014

U.S., Chinese officials to meet at Pentagon after jet intercept

WASHINGTON, Aug 25 (Reuters) – U.S. and Chinese military
officials will hold talks on rules of behavior at the Pentagon
on Wednesday and Thursday, a U.S. official said, days after the
United States denounced a “dangerous” Chinese jet intercept of a
U.S. Navy patrol plane.

Last Tuesday, a Chinese fighter pilot flew acrobatic
maneuvers around the U.S. Navy’s P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine and
reconnaissance plane, crossing over and under it in
international airspace over the South China Sea, the Pentagon
said.

Aug 4, 2014

U.S. to press South China Sea freeze despite China rejection

WASHINGTON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry, at a meeting with Southeast Asian nations this weekend,
will press for a voluntary freeze on actions aggravating
territorial disputes in the South China Sea, in spite of
Beijing’s rejection of the idea.

Daniel Russel, the State Department’s senior diplomat for
the East Asia region, said ahead of Kerry’s trip to the ASEAN
Regional Forum (ARF) that the call was not new and was “not
rocket science,” but “common sense.”

Aug 1, 2014

Kerry seeks Qatari, Turkish help to find Israeli soldier

RAMSTEIN Germany (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, fearing an escalation of violence in Gaza, called on Turkey and Qatar on Friday to use their influence to secure the release of a kidnapped Israeli soldier whose abduction led to the breakdown of a short-lived ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

    Kerry called Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu soon after being told of the abduction and the killings of two Israeli soldiers by an aide while flying back from a visit to India. The incidents led to the quick breakdown of a ceasefire Kerry had worked hard to broker.

    • About David

      "David Brunnstrom is Reuters U.S. Asia Policy Correspondent, based in Washington DC. Before moving to Washington in 2012, he reported from all over Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia as EU and NATO correspondent based in Brussels. Before that, he spent nearly 20 years in Asia for Reuters, with postings in Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, Hanoi, Islamabad and Kabul."
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