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Jun 10, 2014

France says Iran talks ‘hitting a wall’; July deadline in doubt

GENEVA/PARIS (Reuters) – France told Iran it must cut back a key part of its nuclear program and Tehran cast doubt on the chances of meeting a July deadline for a deal with world powers, highlighting the major hurdles negotiators still face.

Iran’s talks with six major powers on curbing its nuclear program in exchange for an end to sanctions could be extended for another six months if no deal is reached by a July 20 deadline, a senior Iranian official said.

Jun 10, 2014

France says Iran must budge on centrifuges for talks to succeed

PARIS (Reuters) – Iran must drop its demands to have thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium if it wants a lasting deal with major powers over its disputed nuclear programme, France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Highlighting a big gap in negotiating positions, Laurent Fabius told French radio that Iran should only have a few hundred centrifuges, machines that spin at supersonic speed to increase the concentration of the fissile isotope.

Jun 7, 2014

Putin, Ukraine leader break crisis ice at D-Day event

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER France (Reuters) – The leaders of Russia and Ukraine held their first talks on Friday since Moscow annexed Crimea, airing ways to end their four-month conflict in a brief encounter during commemorations in France of the World War Two D-Day landings.

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel brought together Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko for a 15-minute meeting before they joined other dignitaries for lunch.

Jun 6, 2014

Russia, Ukraine leaders shake hands, talk at D-Day event

By John Irish and Jeff Mason

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France(Reuters) – The leaders of Russia and Ukraine met on Friday for the first time since Moscow annexed Crimea as world leaders commemorated the 70th anniversary of the World War Two D-Day landings in France.

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel brought together Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko for a 15-minute meeting before an official lunch for visiting world dignitaries.

Jun 6, 2014

World leaders pay tribute to D-Day fallen, seek Ukraine thaw

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France, June 6 (Reuters) – World leaders
and veterans paid tribute on the 70th anniversary of the World
War Two D-Day landings to soldiers who fell in the liberation of
Europe from Nazi German rule, as host France sought to use the
event to achieve a thaw in the Ukraine crisis.

Wreaths, parades and parachute-drops honoured history’s
largest amphibious assault on June 6, 1944, when 160,000 U.S.,
British and Canadian troops waded ashore to confront German
forces, hastening its defeat and the advent of peace in Europe.

Jun 5, 2014

World leaders gather for D-Day tribute, hope for thaw on Ukraine

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER FRANCE (Reuters) – World leaders and veterans gather by the beaches of Normandy on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings that helped turn the tables in World War Two, with host France hoping the event will bring a thaw in the Ukraine crisis.

Wreaths, parades, parachute-landings and fireworks will be staged in honor of history’s largest amphibian assault on June 6, 1944 when 160,000 U.S., British and Canadian troops waded ashore to confront Nazi Germany’s forces, hastening its defeat.

Jun 5, 2014

Hollande bids to use D-Day encounters for Ukraine thaw

PARIS (Reuters) – President Francois Hollande urged world leaders arriving in France on Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of World War Two’s D-Day landings to use the occasion to ease tensions over the Ukraine crisis.

Hollande, criticised at home for a lack of initiative on Ukraine, was due to have a working dinner with U.S. President Barack Obama before dashing across Paris to join Russia’s Vladimir Putin for a second evening meal later on Thursday.

Jun 5, 2014

Two-dinner Hollande hosts Obama and Putin seeking Ukraine thaw

PARIS (Reuters) – Criticized at home for a lack of initiative on Ukraine, French President Francois Hollande will hold separate dinners on Thursday with the U.S. and Russian leaders in an attempt to unlock Europe’s worst security crisis since the Cold War.

His aim is to orchestrate an ice-breaking first meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko on French soil, diplomats said, despite continued fighting in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Jun 5, 2014

French leader dines twice with Obama, Putin seeking Ukraine thaw

PARIS (Reuters) – Criticized at home for a lack of initiative on Ukraine, French President Francois Hollande will hold separate dinners on Thursday with the U.S. and Russian leaders in an attempt to unlock Europe’s worst security crisis since the Cold War.

His aim is to orchestrate an ice-breaking first meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko on French soil, diplomats said, despite continued fighting in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Jun 4, 2014

World leaders to gather for D-Day, Ukraine crisis casts shadow

PARIS (Reuters) – World leaders gather in Normandy on Friday for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, but with Europe in its worst security crisis since the Cold War, commemorations will be the backdrop to urgent diplomacy over Ukraine.

Some 18 heads of state will attend ceremonies bringing together 3,000 veterans along France’s northern coast where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944 in a sea-borne invasion that sped up the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two.