BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia criticized “aggressive actions” by Ukrainian demonstrators and the Western response to the protests on Wednesday, saying outsiders should not interfere in Ukraine’s affairs.
President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision last week to spurn a trade and cooperation pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia has triggered days of mass protests.
CHISINAU (Reuters) – John Kerry became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Moldova in more than two decades on Wednesday, part of a show of support for pro-Western moves by the former Soviet republic in the face of Russian pressure.
Kerry opted to make his brief stop in Moldova after it and another former Soviet republic, Georgia, initialed agreements on closer ties with the European Union last week.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Tuesday that Afghanistan’s defense minister or government, instead of a reluctant President Hamid Karzai, could sign a security pact enabling some U.S. troops to stay in the country after 2014.
An assembly of Afghan elders, the Loya Jirga, last month endorsed the security deal with the United States, but Karzai said he might not sign it until after elections next April.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Ukrainian government on Tuesday to “listen to the voices of its people” after President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision to spurn a pact with the European Union sparked mass protests.
Kerry said Ukrainians had demonstrated “in unbelievable numbers” in favor of the accord on closer ties with Europe, which Yanukovich rejected last week in favor of Russian incentives.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO leaders urged Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday to swiftly sign a security pact that would enable some U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014, saying failure to do so could jeopardize security and foreign aid.
U.S. and NATO officials have warned that if Karzai does not sign the security deal with the United States promptly, both the United States and the alliance would have to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and abandon plans to leave behind a smaller training and advisory force.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will try to strike a delicate balance of calming military tensions with China while supporting ally Japan against Beijing on a trip to Asia this week that is being overshadowed by a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.
Aiming to counter criticism that the United States is neglecting Asia because it is distracted by domestic politics and the Middle East, the White House has long been planning a visit by Biden to Japan, China and South Korea.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iran’s new government took its diplomatic charm offensive to the United Nations on Monday and agreed to new talks on its nuclear program with top diplomats from six world powers, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The meeting bringing the top U.S. diplomat and new Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif around the same conference table will be highly unusual given the United States has not maintained diplomatic relations with Iran since 1980.
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif will join the five permanent U.N. Security
Council members and Germany later this week to discuss the
crisis over Iran’s nuclear program, European Union foreign
policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Monday.
“We talked about a number of important issues that focused
on the nuclear issue,” Ashton told reporters after meeting Zarif
ahead of this week’s U.N. General Assembly session in New York.
“We had a good and constructive discussion.”
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai met Pakistan’s army chief and foreign minister in talks on Wednesday hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry aimed at easing tension between the neighbors before the end of NATO’s Afghanistan combat mission.
Afghanistan has grown increasingly frustrated with Pakistan over efforts to pursue a peace process involving the Taliban, suggesting that Islamabad is intent on keep Afghanistan unstable until foreign combat forces leave at the end of 2014.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Pakistan must crack down on militants who use the country as a sanctuary to launch attacks in Afghanistan, the head of NATO said on Tuesday, before a U.S.-chaired meeting that will try to ease friction between the neighbors.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will host talks between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and senior Pakistan officials in Brussels on Wednesday, with the aim of calming tension over border disputes and a stalled peace process.