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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.

Aug 1, 2014

U.S. says India refusal on WTO deal a wrong signal

NEW DELHI/SYDNEY (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday that India’s refusal to sign a global trade deal sent the wrong signal, and he urged New Delhi to work to resolve the row as soon as possible.

A World Trade Organisation pact to ease worldwide customs rules collapsed late on Thursday over India’s demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling.

Aug 1, 2014

Kerry sees ‘opportunity’ in Gaza ceasefire, urges search for common ground

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday called the 72-hour ceasefire agreed to by Israel and Hamas in their conflict in the Gaza Strip a “lull of opportunity” and said it was imperative that the sides make their best efforts to find common ground.

Kerry said Egypt’s foreign minister will invite the ceasefire parties to take part in “serious” negotiations in Cairo and that the United States plans to send a small delegation. He called the ceasefire “precious time.”

Jul 31, 2014

India’s demands block $1 trln WTO deal on customs rules

NEW DELHI/GENEVA, July 31 (Reuters) – The World Trade
Organization failed on Thursday to reach a deal to standardise
customs rules, which would have been the first global trade
reform in two decades but was blocked by India’s demands for
concessions on agricultural stockpiling.

“We have not been able to find a solution that would allow
us to bridge that gap,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo
told trade diplomats in Geneva just two hours before the final
deadline for a deal.

Jul 31, 2014

India, U.S. stress strategic ties but tensions remain

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The United States and India stressed their desire to boost business and defense ties on Thursday, but trade and spying rows were a reminder of the obstacles to President Barack Obama’s vision of a “defining” partnership.

After a day of meetings in New Delhi seen as a preparation for a September visit to Washington by new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the Indian leader’s election had created a “singular opportunity.”

Jul 31, 2014

US says hopeful of WTO deal with India only hours before deadline

NEW DELHI/GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States said on Thursday it was hopeful that differences between India and much of the rest of the world over a major trade agreement could be resolved in time, with only hours remaining before the deal has to be signed.

New Delhi has insisted that, in exchange for signing the trade facilitation agreement, it must see more progress on a parallel pact giving it more freedom to subsidize and stockpile food grains than is allowed by World Trade Organization rules.

Jul 28, 2014

Kerry to woo Modi’s India, but quick progress unlikely

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits India this week as Washington tries to revitalize ties it sees as a counterbalance to China’s rising power, but rapid progress is unlikely, despite the reformist reputation of India’s new leader.

The visit by Kerry, and a trip by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel next month, follow the resounding election win of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May and are meant to create a good climate for Modi’s planned visit to Washington in September.

Jul 27, 2014

U.S. diplomats’ return to Libya could be more hazardous than exit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If evacuating U.S. embassy staff from Libya was perilous – three F-16 fighters and Marines in Osprey aircraft flew overhead a road convoy from Tripoli to Tunisia – sending them back in could be politically hazardous for President Barack Obama.

U.S. diplomats work in dangerous places such as Baghdad and Kabul, but the ghosts of Benghazi hang over the U.S. presence in Libya after an attack on a U.S. mission in the eastern Libyan city in 2012 that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Jul 16, 2014

Kerry, Hagel to visit India to push strategic ties

WASHINGTON, July 16 (Reuters) – America’s top diplomat and
the head of its Defense Department will visit India in coming
weeks seeking to revitalize a relationship the United States
sees as a crucial counterbalance in Asia to an increasingly
assertive China.

Secretary of State John Kerry will represent the United
States in an annual session of Strategic Dialogue with India
scheduled for July 31, and he will be followed to New Delhi by
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in early August, U.S. officials
said on Wednesday.

Jul 15, 2014

Kerry confers premature knighthood on departing friend Hague

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday heaped praise on William Hague after his resignation as British foreign secretary, and even went as far as conferring on him a premature knighthood via Twitter.

“Will miss working so closely with my friend Sir William — when @WilliamJHague spoke, we all listened,” Kerry said in a tweet on his page on the social media site, to which a photograph of the two men was attached.

    • 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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