ALMATY (Reuters) – Major powers will offer Iran some sanctions relief during talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, this week if Tehran agrees to curb its nuclear program, a U.S. official said on Monday.
But the Islamic Republic could face more economic pain if it fails to address international concerns about its atomic activities, the official said ahead of the February 26-27 meeting in the central Asian state, speaking on condition of anonymity.
BRUSSELS, Feb 21 (Reuters) – European governments might ease
economic sanctions on rebel-held areas of Syria, including a ban
on importing oil, in an effort to tilt the balance of the
conflict against President Bashar al-Assad.
Germany has proposed that sanctions be reviewed, and
possibly lifted, in coming months in territory under opposition
control. That might allow EU states to resume trade there and
create sources of cash for the opposition, EU diplomats said on
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Bulgaria urged European governments on Monday to take a harder stance towards Hezbollah after blaming the Lebanese Islamist movement for a bus bombing that killed five Israelis at a Bulgarian Black Sea resort last year.
But the country’s Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov cautioned European states not to be in a rush to brand the Lebanese group as a terrorist organization, saying careful consideration was needed of potential consequences in Beirut.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union took steps on Monday to provide direct aid potentially including security advice to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but stopped short of lifting an arms embargo on the country.
The decision, taken at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting, was a compromise after weeks of clashes between Britain, which pushed for easing the embargo to help rebels, and EU countries worried allowing more weapons into Syria could fuel violence.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – African and Western countries threw their support on Tuesday behind the idea of having United Nations peacekeepers eventually take over from an African force being deployed in Mali.
France sent troops to Mali last month to halt the advance of al Qaeda-affiliated militants who launched an offensive that threatened the capital Bamako.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Iran is stalling on fixing a date and location for a new round of talks on its nuclear program, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Wednesday, but there is still hope that talks between Tehran and six world powers can begin soon.
EU officials have been in contact with Iranian negotiators repeatedly since December to try to prepare a new set of talks, which the West hopes will lead to Iran scaling back its atomic work. No plans have yet been fixed.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In his first week as U.S. president, Barack Obama told Iran’s leaders he would extend a hand if they would “unclench their fist” and persuade the West they weren’t trying to build a nuclear bomb.
So far, they have not. In response, the United States and the European Union this year took a step they had long resisted, imposing trade sanctions to choke off Iran’s lifeblood: oil revenue.
BRUSSELS/GENEVA (Reuters) – Fighters from around the world have filtered into Syria to join a civil war that has split along sectarian lines, increasingly pitting the ruling Alawite community against the majority Sunni Muslims, U.N. human rights investigators said on Thursday.
The deepened sectarian divisions in Syria may diminish prospects for any post-conflict reconciliation even if President Bashar al-Assad is toppled. And the influx of foreign fighters raises the risk of the war spilling into neighboring countries, riven by the same sectarian fault lines that cut through Syria.
BRUSSELS, Dec 14 (Reuters) – All options are on the table to
support the Syrian opposition fighting President Bashar
al-Assad, European Union leaders said on Friday, raising the
possibility that non-lethal military equipment or even arms
could eventually be supplied.
In their strongest statement of support for the Syrian
opposition since the uprising began more than 20 months ago, EU
leaders instructed their foreign ministers to assess all
possibilities to increase the pressure on Assad.
BRUSSELS, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Big powers hope soon to agree
with Iran to hold a new round of nuclear talks in another bid to
resolve a protracted dispute over Tehran’s atomic programme and
avert the increasing threat of a downward spiral into Middle
Iran is seen by the six powers to be covertly trying to
develop the means to produce nuclear weapons. They want to rein
in the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment programme, to
ensure it is geared only for civilian energy as Iran maintains
it is, through a mix of diplomacy and economic sanctions.