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Apr 4, 2014

Kerry warns U.S. is evaluating role in Middle East peace talks

RABAT (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Friday the United States was evaluating whether to continue its role in Middle East peace talks after both Israeli and Palestinian sides had taken steps that were not helpful.

Speaking during a visit to Morocco, Kerry said it was “reality check time” and there was a limit to effort the United States could make on the peace process if the parties themselves were unwilling to take constructive measures.

Apr 3, 2014

U.S. hopes hit arid reality in Israeli-Palestinian talks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – From the moment Middle East peace talks resumed last July, it always looked as if U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was more eager to strike a deal than either the Israelis or Palestinians.

While the two old foes have said repeatedly that they want to talk, neither side has looked remotely ready to make the sort of concessions that might eventually lead to peace.

Apr 3, 2014

U.S. wants to boost Algeria in al Qaeda fight – Kerry

ALGIERS (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday Washington was looking to increase its security assistance to Algeria to help it tackle militancy in the vast Sahel region to its south, home to one of the world’s most active branches of al Qaeda.

Algeria, a major gas supplier to Europe, is already a key partner in Washington’s campaign against Islamist fighters who have tried to spread across the Maghreb after the French military drove them out of Mali last year.

Apr 3, 2014

Kerry says US wants to boost Algeria in al Qaeda fight

ALGIERS, April 3 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry said on Thursday Washington was looking to increase its
security assistance to Algeria to help it tackle militancy in
the vast Sahel region to its south, home to one of the world’s
most active branches of al Qaeda.

Algeria, a major gas supplier to Europe, is already a key
partner in Washington’s campaign against Islamist fighters who
have tried to spread across the Maghreb after the French
military drove them out of Mali last year.

Apr 1, 2014

Kerry meets Netanyahu again in an effort to revive peace talks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the second time in less than 12 hours on Tuesday in an effort salvage stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.

Kerry broke into his travel schedule on Monday for a flying visit to Jerusalem and headed back to Europe again after his early morning discussions with Netanyahu.

Mar 31, 2014

Kerry returns to Middle East to push flailing peace talks

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry rushed back to the Middle East on Monday to try to salvage stalled peace talks, possibly by releasing an Israeli spy jailed in the United States and Palestinian prisoners.

Requesting anonymity, a U.S. official said the release of Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence in the United States for spying for Israel, was “on the table” as a possible element in a Middle East peace deal. .

Mar 31, 2014

Kerry meets with Lavrov on Ukraine, urges troop pullback

PARIS/MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held talks on Sunday about ways to defuse the crisis over Ukraine, with Kerry telling Moscow that progress depended on a Russian troop pullback from Ukraine’s borders.

“Both sides made suggestions of ways to de-escalate the security and political situation in and around Ukraine,” Kerry told a news conference late on Sunday after meeting with Lavrov for four hours in Paris.

Mar 30, 2014

U.S. sends top general back to Europe over Ukraine crisis

MOSCOW/PARIS (Reuters) – America’s top general in Europe has been sent back early from a trip to Washington in what the Pentagon on Sunday called a prudent step given Russia’s “lack of transparency” about troop movements across the border with Ukraine.

General Philip Breedlove, who is both NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the head of the U.S. military’s European Command, arrived in Europe Saturday evening. He had been due to testify before Congress this week.

Mar 30, 2014

Russia plays down impact of Western sanctions before talks with U.S.

MOSCOW/PARIS (Reuters) – Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its intervention in Ukraine have caused some disruption but not been too painful, Moscow’s foreign minister said hours before talks on Sunday with his U.S. counterpart on a way out of the East-West standoff.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will seek to agree the outlines of a deal to reduce tensions over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region at their meeting in Paris.

Mar 26, 2014

Kerry interrupts Rome visit to salvage Mideast peace talks

AMMAN (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry broke from a visit to Italy on Wednesday to try to salvage Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, even as Arab leaders declared they would never meet Israel’s core demand to be recognized as a Jewish state.

Kerry flew to Jordan to ask Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to commit to extending the negotiations, just days before Israel is supposed to release a final group of Palestinian prisoners as a confidence-building gesture.