Matt's Feed
Sep 18, 2013

Rouhani says Iran willing to forswear nuclear arms: TV interview

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Wednesday that his government will never develop nuclear weapons, his strongest signal yet that he may be seeking a diplomatic thaw with the West after decades of acrimony.

In an interview with NBC News days before he travels to New York for a U.N. appearance, the new Iranian president also insisted that he has “complete authority” to negotiate a nuclear deal with the United States and other Western powers.

Sep 10, 2013

How Kerry’s off-hand remark put a deal on Syria in play

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Whether deft diplomacy or a rhetorical stumble, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has managed to crack open the door to a possible solution to the Syrian crisis that could get President Barack Obama and U.S. lawmakers out of a bind, save Syria from a bombing and cast Russia as peacemaker.

Kerry’s seemingly off-hand suggestion on Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad might avert a U.S. military strike if he surrendered all of his chemical weapons offered a potential escape hatch that no one had seriously proposed before – and that could end up leading nowhere.

Sep 10, 2013

Analysis: How Kerry’s off-hand remark put a deal on Syria in play

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Whether deft diplomacy or a rhetorical stumble, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has managed to crack open the door to a possible solution to the Syrian crisis that could get President Barack Obama and U.S. lawmakers out of a bind, save Syria from a bombing and cast Russia as peacemaker.

Kerry’s seemingly off-hand suggestion on Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad might avert a U.S. military strike if he surrendered all of his chemical weapons offered a potential escape hatch that no one had seriously proposed before – and that could end up leading nowhere.

Sep 6, 2013

Obama rejects G20 pressure to abandon Syria air strike plan

PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept 6 (Reuters) – U.S. President
Barack Obama resisted pressure on Friday to abandon plans for
air strikes against Syria and enlisted the support of 10 fellow
leaders for a “strong” response to a chemical weapons attack.

Obama refused to blink after Russian President Vladimir
Putin led a campaign to talk him out of military intervention at
a two-day summit of the Group of Twenty developed and developing
economies in St. Petersburg.

Sep 6, 2013

Obama meets Russian activists but avoids criticizing Kremlin

PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – President Barack Obama trod carefully in talks with Russian human rights activists after a G20 summit dominated by the Syrian crisis on Friday, avoiding direct public criticism of Kremlin policies the United States has denounced.

Following a tradition that has irritated President Vladimir Putin, who accuses Washington of meddling in Russia’s affairs and backing his foes, Obama made a point of meeting civil society leaders while visiting for a international gathering.

Sep 6, 2013

Obama says most G20 leaders agree Assad behind chemical attack

PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday that most leaders of the G20 countries agree that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for using poison gas against civilians as the U.S. leader tried to rally support at home and abroad for a military strike.

“I was elected to end wars, not start them,” Obama said at a news conference in Russia. “I’ve spent the last four and a half years doing everything I can to reduce our reliance on military power as a means of meeting our international obligations and protecting the American people.

Sep 6, 2013

Obama holds out over Syria air strikes at G20 summit

PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept 6 (Reuters) – U.S. President
Barack Obama defied pressure to abandon plans for air strikes
against Syria at a summit on Friday which left world leaders
divided on the conflict but united behind a call to spur
economic growth.

Leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) developed and
developing economies, who account for 90 percent of the world
economy and two thirds of its population, agreed that the
economy was not out of crisis yet but was on the mend.

Sep 6, 2013

Obama stands firm on Syria air strikes, G20 summit divided

PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama defied pressure from fellow world leaders to abandon plans for air strikes against Syria, leaving deep divisions at a summit which overshadowed efforts on Friday to revive the global economy.

Leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) developed and developing economies were expected to agree on a statement saying the world economy was not out of crisis but on the mend.

Sep 5, 2013

Together again, Obama and Putin are “odd couple” at summit

PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept 5 (Reuters) – A 15-second
photo-op on Thursday between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin
spoke volumes – tight smiles, a businesslike handshake and
little more from two leaders bitterly divided by the crisis in
Syria.

Their sparse encounter outside a tsarist palace in St.
Petersburg at the start of a Group of 20 (G20) summit
underscored the dismal state of U.S.-Russia relations, with
tensions mounting over Obama’s threatened military strike
against Syria, a Russian ally.

Sep 5, 2013

Pressure grows on Obama over Syria at G20 summit

PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama faced growing pressure from world leaders on Thursday not to launch military strikes in Syria at a summit on the global economy that was hijacked by the conflict.

The Group of 20 (G20) developed and developing economies met in St. Petersburg to try and forge a united front on how to revive economic growth, but failed to heal divisions over a U.S. plan to wind down a program to stimulate the world economy.

    • About Matt

      "White House correspondent who has covered news on four continents for Reuters, from Latin American coups and drug wars to the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles to the Balkans conflict to the second Palestinian Intifada to the Iraq war. He has covered George W. Bush and is now covering President Barack Obama."
    • Follow Matt