Lesley's Feed
Dec 17, 2014

Secret talks in Canada, Vatican City led to Cuba breakthrough

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The historic breakthrough in U.S.-Cuban relations began in spring 2013, when President Barack Obama authorized secret talks with Havana, the same tactic he used to open nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Months of talks in Canada and at the Vatican, involving one of Obama’s closest aides, culminated on Tuesday when Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro spoke by phone for nearly an hour and gave final assent to steps that could end a half-century of enmity and reshape Western Hemisphere relations.

Dec 17, 2014

Kerry says Russia sanctions could end if Putin takes right steps

LONDON (Reuters) – Russia has made constructive moves in recent days towards reducing tensions in Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday, and he raised the possibility that Washington could lift sanctions if Moscow keeps taking positive steps.

Speaking in London, Kerry said the United States and Europe could lift sanctions within days or weeks if President Vladimir Putin keeps taking steps to ease tensions and lives up to commitments under ceasefire accords to end the Ukraine conflict.

Dec 17, 2014

Kerry says U.S. made no ‘determinations’ on Palestinian resolution

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday the United States had made “no determinations” about any possible U.N. Security Council resolutions to end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he had sought reassurances from Kerry that Washington would block separate efforts by Palestinians and Europeans to set a time frame for a Palestinian statehood.

Dec 16, 2014

Kerry says Russia has made ‘constructive moves’ on Ukraine in recent days

LONDON (Reuters) – Russia has made constructive moves in recent days toward possibly reducing tensions in Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

Speaking in London, Kerry said the United States and Europe were ready to ease sanctions against Russia if President Vladimir Putin took more steps to deescalate tensions in eastern Ukraine.

Dec 16, 2014

Israel seeks U.S. block of Palestinian statehood drive

ROME (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday sought assurances from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Washington would block efforts by Palestinians and Europeans on Palestinian statehood.

“Our expectation is that the United States will stand by its position for the past 47 years that a solution to the conflict will be achieved through negotiations, and I do not see a reason for this policy to change,” Netanyahu told reporters after a meeting in Rome that lasted some three hours.

Dec 15, 2014

Palestinian U.N. statehood bid at heart of Kerry-Netanyahu talks

ROME (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before talks on Monday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry he would defy any U.N. move to “dictate” a timeframe for withdrawal from land Palestinians seek for a state.

Before the two convened in Rome, Israel put the United States on notice it expected Washington to exercise its Security Council veto against any resolutions setting a timeframe.

Dec 15, 2014

Washington undecided on U.N. resolution for Palestinian state

JERUSALEM/ROME (Reuters) – Israel said it hoped the United States would veto any moves at the United Nations to set a time frame for its withdrawal from territory Palestinians seek for a state, but a senior U.S. official said it was too early to say.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome on Monday to discuss various proposals for a Palestinian state that are circulating at the United Nations.

Dec 14, 2014

Washington undecided on U.N. resolution for Israel-Palestine

JERUSALEM/ROME (Reuters) – Israel said it hoped the United States would veto any moves at the United Nations to set a time frame for its withdrawal from territory Palestinians seek for state, but a senior U.S. official said it was too early to say.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome on Monday to discuss various proposals for a Palestinian state that are circulating at the United Nations.

Dec 10, 2014

Kerry, Israel’s Netanyahu to meet in Rome for Middle East talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Rome on Sunday for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on developments in Israel and the West Bank, the State Department said on Wednesday.

“John Kerry will travel to Rome on Sunday to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu on developments in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem and region,” department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Twitter.

Dec 9, 2014

Kerry urges flexibility in U.S. war powers against Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Any congressional authorization of U.S. military force against Islamic State should be flexible and not limit the fight to Iraq and Syria, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

The authorization should also not restrict U.S. President Barack Obama in deploying combat troops against the militant group if needed, Kerry told a Senate committee debating the need for an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF.