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Jul 25, 2014

As Russian arms flow to Ukraine, more U.S. sanctions expected

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Evidence that Russia is moving more weapons into Ukraine to arm rebels is likely to trigger more U.S. sanctions against Moscow once the European Union likely agrees its own sanctions next week, senior U.S. officials said on Friday.

“If the EU pulls together a package of sanctions in the coming week, the U.S. would want to complement that,” said a European diplomat in Washington, who requested anonymity to discuss diplomatic strategy.

Jul 15, 2014

Iran looks to prolonging nuclear talks; U.S. demands cuts

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran and six world powers on Tuesday appeared likely to extend talks on Tehran’s nuclear programme beyond a July 20 deadline, while Washington said the Islamic Republic must cut its capacity to make nuclear fuel to secure a deal to end sanctions.

Iran and the six nations are trying to bridge differences in negotiating positions over a deal intended to end a decade-long dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme, which Western nations fear may be aimed at developing a nuclear weapons capability. Iran says it is for peaceful purposes.

Jul 15, 2014

Iran must reduce nuclear fuel capacity to secure deal: Kerry

VIENNA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday Tehran must reduce its capacity to make nuclear fuel if it wants to secure a long-term deal with six world powers that would bring an end to sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.

“We have made it crystal clear that the 19,000 (centrifuges) that are currently part of their programme is too many,” Kerry told reporters after three days of talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Jul 9, 2014

China, U.S. say committed to managing differences

BEIJING (Reuters) – China and the United States need to manage their differences, the leaders of both countries said on Wednesday at the start of annual talks expected to focus on cyber-security, maritime disputes, the Chinese currency and an investment treaty.

The two-day talks in Beijing, called the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, will be an opportunity for the world’s two biggest economies to dial down tensions after months of bickering over a host of issues, experts have said. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew chair the U.S. delegation, with Vice Premier Wang Yang and top diplomat Yang Jiechi leading the Chinese side.

Jul 9, 2014

China’s Xi warns confrontation with U.S. would be disaster

BEIJING (Reuters) – Confrontation between China and the United States would be a disaster and both must respect each others’ sovereignty, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday as he opened annual talks between the world’s two biggest economies.

The two-day talks being led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will likely take in China’s currency, North Korea’s nuclear program and escalating tensions between China and neighbors in the South China Sea and with Japan in the East China Sea.

Jul 8, 2014

Currency, maritime disputes at stake in U.S.-China talks

BEIJING, July 8 (Reuters) – The United States pressed China
to implement structural reforms in its exchange rate and to
modify its “aggressive behaviour” in disputed waters during a
preliminary round of bilateral talks on Tuesday, senior U.S.
officials said.

The United States, led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, will also push China this week
to resume cooperation on fighting cyber espionage and return to
dialogue on internet issues, a senior U.S. official said.

Jul 8, 2014

Cyber spying, maritime disputes loom large in U.S.-China talks

BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States will press China to resume cooperation on fighting cyber espionage to ensure an orderly cyber environment, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday ahead of annual talks between the world’s two largest economies this week.

The talks, which start on Wednesday, will be led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, likely taking in China’s currency, North Korea’s nuclear program and escalating tensions between China and neighbors in the South China Sea and with Japan in the East China Sea.

Jul 1, 2014

How Boko Haram is beating U.S. efforts to choke its financing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Washington imposed sanctions in June 2012 on Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, he dismissed it as an empty gesture.

Two years later, Shekau’s skepticism appears well founded: his Islamic militant group is now the biggest security threat to Africa’s top oil producer, is richer than ever, more violent and its abductions of women and children continue with impunity.

Jul 1, 2014

Insight – How Boko Haram is beating U.S. efforts to choke its financing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Washington imposed sanctions in June 2012 on Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, he dismissed it as an empty gesture.

Two years later, Shekau’s scepticism appears well founded: his Islamic militant group is now the biggest security threat to Africa’s top oil producer, is richer than ever, more violent and its abductions of women and children continue with impunity.

Jun 28, 2014

Saudi king tells Kerry he will press Sunnis to join Iraq government

SHANNON Ireland (Reuters) – Saudi King Abdullah pledged in talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to use his influence to encourage Sunni Muslims to join a new, more inclusive Iraqi government to better combat an Islamist insurgency, a senior U.S. official said on Saturday.

After a week of frenetic diplomacy by Kerry tackling the threat of Iraq’s disintegration, Abdullah’s assurance marked a significant shift from Riyadh’s insistence on the removal of Iraqi Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki, a Shi’ite Muslim.