Lesley's Feed
Oct 1, 2014

China tells foreign countries not to meddle in Hong Kong

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded on Wednesday to comments by the United States and others on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, saying foreign countries should not meddle in China’s domestic affairs.

Wang, the most senior Chinese official to speak publicly about the protests, said Beijing had “very formally and clearly stated its position: Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs. All countries should respect China’s sovereignty.”

Sep 30, 2014

China facing growing U.S. pressure over Hong Kong protests

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China is facing growing U.S. pressure to show restraint during mass pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, with the issue to be raised in high-level bilateral talks, and a prominent U.S. lawmaker has expressed “grave concerns” over the troubles.

A day after the United States backed calls by thousands of protesters for greater autonomy in selecting candidates for Hong Kong’s chief executive, U.S. officials said Secretary of State John Kerry would discuss the issue with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi when the two meet in Washington on Wednesday.

Sep 28, 2014

Insight – Russian suspicions of U.S. motives in Syria make cooperation unlikely

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Russia see Islamic State as a common enemy but are failing to overcome deep mutual distrust and agree on how to tackle the threat together, making any role for Moscow in the U.S.-led campaign unlikely, say U.S. officials.

Differences between the former Cold War foes are stark, say the officials. Moscow suspects Washington’s ulterior motive is removal of its ally, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Washington refuses to consider working together as long as Moscow insists that U.S. strikes need Syrian and U.N. approval.

Sep 28, 2014

Russian suspicions of U.S. motives in Syria make cooperation unlikely

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Russia see Islamic State as a common enemy but are failing to overcome deep mutual distrust and agree on how to tackle the threat together, making any role for Moscow in the U.S.-led campaign unlikely, say U.S. officials.

Differences between the former Cold War foes are stark, say the officials. Moscow suspects Washington’s ulterior motive is removal of its ally, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Washington refuses to consider working together as long as Moscow insists that U.S. strikes need Syrian and U.N. approval.

Sep 25, 2014

U.S. ready to expand South Sudan sanctions to end violence: envoy

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States is ready to expand sanctions against South Sudan political and military officials to ensure progress in peace talks and a quick halt to fighting in the country, the U.S. envoy to South Sudan said on Thursday.

Ambassador Donald Booth said recent measures, including sanctions last week against two military officers on opposite sides of the violence, were intended to signal that the United States will not hesitate to act against those standing in the way of peace.

Sep 24, 2014

No sign Afghan leaders want to change draft security pact: U.S. official

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A senior U.S. official expressed confidence on Wednesday that a security deal with Afghanistan will be finalized after President-elect Ashraf Ghani takes office next week, saying there is no sign the country’s new leaders want to change the draft bilateral agreement.

The agreement lays out the terms under which U.S. troops may stay beyond this year. Ghani will be sworn in on Monday and has agreed to form a power-sharing government with his political rival, Abdullah Abdullah, after a long deadlock over who had won the election.

Sep 23, 2014

Exclusive: Courting Vietnam, U.S. prepares to ease arms embargo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly 40 years after the United States helicoptered its last soldiers out of Vietnam in an ignominious retreat, Washington is moving closer to lifting an arms embargo on its former enemy, with initial sales likely to help Hanoi deal with growing naval challenges from China.

    Senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the initiative said Washington wants to support Vietnam by strengthening its ability to monitor and defend its coastline, and said unarmed P-3 surveillance planes could be one of the first sales.

Sep 23, 2014

Kerry tells North Korea to shut ‘evil system’ of prison camps

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday called on North Korea to close its prison camps, saying their existence and the systematic torture, punishment and execution of people bring shame on the country.

“We say to the North Korean government, all of us here today, you should close those camps, you should shut this evil system down,” Kerry told an event before U.N. meetings to highlight human rights abuses in North Korea.

Sep 23, 2014

Kerry blames Islamic State, Assad for ‘barbarism’ of heritage sites

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday blamed Islamic State militants and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for destroying cultural treasures in Syria and Iraq describing it as “ugly, savage, inexplicable, valueless barbarism”.

Kerry broke away from meetings focused on the defeat of Islamic State forces to attend a program entitled “Heritage in Peril: Iraq and Syria” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Sep 22, 2014

Group of nations warns against outside interference in Libya

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A group of 13 countries, the European Union and the United Nations on Monday called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire and political dialogue in Libya, rejecting any outside interference in the conflict-torn North African state.

The group that issued the communique on the sidelines of this week’s annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly included Algeria, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Britain, the United States, the EU and United Nations.