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Aug 28, 2015

Special Report: How the IMF’s Greek misadventure is changing the fund

WASHINGTON/ATHENS (Reuters) – Many of the top brass of the International Monetary Fund always had concerns about the plans to bail out Greece. That much was clear as far back as May 9, 2010, when the IMF’s 24 directors gathered in Washington to sign-off on the fund’s participation in the first, 110-billion-euro ($125 billion) rescue alongside European institutions.

A Reuters examination of previously unreported IMF board minutes shows that a near majority of directors round the board table that day thought the Greek program would not work.

Aug 28, 2015

How the IMF’s Greek misadventure is changing the fund

WASHINGTON/ATHENS, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Many of the top brass
of the International Monetary Fund always had concerns about the
plans to bail out Greece. That much was clear as far back as May
9, 2010, when the IMF’s 24 directors gathered in Washington to
sign-off on the fund’s participation in the first,
110-billion-euro ($125 billion) rescue alongside European
institutions.

A Reuters examination of previously unreported IMF board
minutes shows that a near majority of directors round the board
table that day thought the Greek program would not work.

Aug 26, 2015

New U.S. envoy for Syria to travel to Russia, Saudi Arabia -source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States’ new special envoy for Syria, Michael Ratney, will visit Moscow, Riyadh and Geneva later this week in an attempt to find a political solution to the four-year old Syrian conflict.

A senior State Department official said Ratney, who was named as the envoy on July 27, would travel to the three centers from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2.

Aug 15, 2015

Kerry urges “genuine democracy” in Cuba as U.S. raises its flag

HAVANA, Aug 14 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry called for political change in Cuba on Friday, telling
Cubans they should be free to choose their own leaders, as he
watched the U.S. flag fly at the American embassy in Havana for
the first time in 54 years.

Leading a ceremony to mark the restoration of diplomatic
relations between the Cold War adversaries, Kerry declared a new
era in U.S.-Cuban relations but pressed the Communist government
on democracy and human rights.

Aug 15, 2015

Kerry urges ‘genuine democracy’ at U.S. flag ceremony in Cuba

HAVANA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declared a new era in relations as he celebrated restored diplomatic ties in Havana on Friday, but he also urged political change in Cuba, telling Cubans they should be free to choose their own leaders.

The first U.S. secretary of state to visit the Caribbean island in 70 years, Kerry presided over a ceremony to raise the U.S. flag over the newly reopened American embassy.

Aug 14, 2015

Kerry, presiding over U.S. flag ceremony in Cuba, urges political change

HAVANA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declared a new era in relations as he celebrated restored diplomatic ties in Havana on Friday, but he also urged political change in Cuba, telling Cubans they should be free to choose their own leaders.

The first U.S. secretary of state to visit the Caribbean island in 70 years, Kerry presided over a ceremony raising the U.S. flag over the newly reopened American embassy.

Aug 14, 2015

In symbol of restored ties, Kerry to raise U.S. flag at Havana embassy

HAVANA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cuba on Friday to raise the U.S. flag at the recently restored American Embassy in Havana, another symbolic step in improved relations between the two Cold War-era foes.

The ceremony, raising the flag over the building for the first time in 54 years, will come nearly four weeks after the United States and Cuba formally renewed diplomatic relations and upgraded their diplomatic missions to embassies.

Aug 13, 2015

U.S., Venezuela talks a ‘work in progress,’: Venezuela diplomat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Venezuela’s top diplomat in Washington said that after five months of quiet diplomacy, relations between the two adversaries were still tentative, with no real rapprochement yet after a decade of hostility.

“It is a work in progress,” said Maximilien Arvelaiz, Venezuela’s charge d’affaires in Washington and the point person in the high-level contacts with State Department diplomats. “It’s not like we now understand each other better.”

Aug 8, 2015

Potential rifts, hard choices if Congress rejects Iran deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If the U.S. Congress votes down the nuclear deal with Iran, President Barack Obama could rapidly find himself facing many negative reverberations, including a painful predicament with China, current and former U.S. officials said on Friday.

China, one of six world powers that negotiated with Tehran, has reduced the amount of Iranian oil it buys, as demanded by a U.S. sanctions law meant to pressure Iran to accept a diplomatic resolution of the nuclear stand-off.

Jul 19, 2015

U.S. to trace Nigerian stolen assets, boost military help

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will offer to help Nigeria’s new leader track down billions of dollars in stolen assets and increase U.S. military assistance to fight Islamic militants, U.S. officials said, as Washington seeks to “reset” ties with Africa’s biggest economy.

Next week’s visit to Washington by President Muhammadu Buhari is viewed by the U.S. administration as a chance to set the seal on improving ties since he won a March election hailed as Nigeria’s first democratic power transition in decades.