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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.

Mar 1, 2014

Obama, wary of foreign crises, faces East-West standoff in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Russia deepened its military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimea region on Saturday, ignoring Barack Obama’s stern warning, the U.S. president faced a critical test of whether Washington has the leverage or the will to get Moscow to back down.

Obama, who has avoided entanglement in global crises where possible and focused on domestic affairs, now finds himself in the midst of the most dangerous East-West standoff since the end of the Cold War.

Mar 1, 2014

Obama warns Russia of ‘costs’ for intervention in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama warned Russia on Friday that military intervention in Ukraine would lead to “costs,” as tension with old foe President Vladimir Putin rose in a Cold War-style crisis.

“We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,” he told reporters.

Feb 28, 2014

Main Israel lobby seeks to regain footing as Netanyahu visits U.S

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – For years, Israeli leaders visiting Washington have been boosted by America’s main pro-Israel lobby, its influence on U.S. Middle East policy long accepted as a matter of conventional wisdom.

But when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses an annual convention of Israel’s U.S. supporters next week, he will find the group trying to show it has not lost its touch after the White House blocked its push for Congress to impose new Iran sanctions.

Feb 20, 2014

Obama’s Syria ‘red line’ has echoes in his warning to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama’s stern warning this week to Ukrainian officials was the closest thing to a “red line” moment he has had since his threat in 2012 to act against the Syrian government if it used chemical weapons.

But Obama’s admonition on Wednesday to not “step over the line” in cracking down on mass protests rocking the Ukraine raised questions on whether he would be any more effective at matching words with deeds than he has been in Syria’s three-year-old civil war.

Feb 12, 2014

In Ukraine standoff, echoes of U.S.-Russia Cold War tensions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Ukraine last July, U.S. diplomats got a private recap of the message he delivered behind closed doors to the country’s leaders. Ukraine, Putin warned, would not be allowed to stray from Moscow’s orbit.

Putin’s blunt talk was an unexpected sign of how hard Moscow would fight Western influence on Ukraine, U.S. officials say, prompting Washington and European capitals to step up their engagement with Ukrainian government and opposition forces.

    • 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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