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Mar 17, 2014

Obama urges tough decisions in quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday that it will require tough decisions and risks to achieve peace with Israel and said now is the time for leaders on both sides to “embrace this opportunity.”

In White House talks overshadowed by the Ukraine crisis, Abbas said “time is not on our side” in U.S.-brokered negotiations with Israel and called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to go ahead with the scheduled release of a final group of Palestinian prisoners by the end of March.

Mar 17, 2014

Obama warns Putin that U.S. ready to impose sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday the United States rejected the results of a secession referendum in Ukraine’s Crimea region and warned that Washington was ready to impose sanctions on Moscow over the crisis.

With Washington and its European allies expected to slap “targeted” punitive measures on Russian officials as early as Monday, the White House said Obama made clear to Putin that the dispute could still be resolved diplomatically but that Russia first must halt military incursions into Ukrainian territory.

Mar 16, 2014

U.S. warns Russia it faces isolation, sanctions in coming days

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House warned President Vladimir Putin on Sunday that Moscow would face sanctions in coming days and international isolation that will hurt Russia’s economy, as Washington fumed over a referendum in Ukraine’s Crimea region that it was powerless to stop.

“We are putting as much pressure on the Russians as we can to do the right thing,” White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said as voters in Crimea, under the control of Russian forces, decided whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia.

Mar 11, 2014

Biden’s role on Ukraine underscores risks for his political future

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the bloodiest day of anti-government protests in Ukraine was drawing to a close last month, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called President Viktor Yanukovich for the second time in three days and delivered a blunt message.

Pull back your security forces now and accept a European-brokered settlement or you will be held accountable, Biden warned the pro-Russian leader. “It WILL catch up with you.”

Mar 5, 2014

Netanyahu warns on Iran, no concessions for Palestinians

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States and other world powers on Tuesday not to allow Iran to retain the ability to enrich uranium, and urged Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state if they wanted peace.

Addressing the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC just a day after White House talks, Netanyahu avoided any explicit criticism of President Barack Obama but underscored the main differences with him over U.S.-led nuclear diplomacy with Iran.

Mar 4, 2014

Netanyahu warns on Iran, urges no Palestinian ‘excuses’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States and other world powers on Tuesday not to allow Iran to retain the ability to enrich uranium, and urged Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state if they wanted peace.

Addressing the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC a day after White House talks, Netanyahu avoided any explicit criticism of President Barack Obama but underscored the main differences with him over U.S.-led nuclear diplomacy with Iran.

Mar 4, 2014

At White House, Israel’s Netanyahu pushes back against Obama diplomacy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bluntly told Barack Obama on Monday that he would never compromise on Israel’s security even as the U.S. president sought to reassure him on Iran nuclear diplomacy and pressure him on Middle East peace talks.

In a White House meeting overshadowed by the Ukraine crisis, the two leaders avoided any direct clash during a brief press appearance but were unable to paper over differences on a pair of sensitive diplomatic drives that have stoked tensions between them.

Mar 3, 2014

Amid Ukraine crisis, Obama to meet Netanyahu on Mideast peace, Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even as he grapples with the Ukraine crisis, President Barack Obama will take time on Monday for potentially testy talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seeking to nudge him forward in Middle East peace efforts and ease his suspicions about diplomacy with Iran.

With time running out for a framework Israeli-Palestinian deal to salvage a troubled U.S.-brokered peace process, Obama and Netanyahu sparred in public comments in the run-up to a meeting that comes at a critical juncture for the president’s second-term foreign policy agenda.

Mar 3, 2014

Amid Ukraine crisis, Obama to meet Netanyahu on Mideast peace

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama takes a break from the Ukraine crisis to hold potentially difficult talks on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on U.S. efforts to keep Middle East peace negotiations alive.

With time running out for a framework Israeli-Palestinian deal to salvage a troubled U.S.-brokered peace process, Obama and Netanyahu sparred in public comments in the run-up to a meeting that will also focus on Iran’s nuclear program.

Mar 2, 2014

Kerry to visit Ukraine, military options not U.S. focus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Sunday said it will send its top diplomat to Kiev in a show of support and threatened economic sanctions against Russia but made clear it is not seriously considering military action over Ukraine.

The Obama administration sought to devise a diplomatic and economic strategy to reverse Russia’s bloodless seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region and to dissuade Moscow from sending its forces further into the territory of its neighbor.

    • 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."
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