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Mar 13, 2015

Senior U.S. diplomat to return to Havana for new Cuba talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government is moving as quickly as possible to decide whether to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of terrorism-sponsoring countries, a senior State Department official said on Friday ahead of a new round of talks in Havana next week.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, offered no timetable for a decision but said that Washington disagreed with Havana’s effort to link the issue to broader negotiations on reopening embassies and restoring diplomatic relations that were severed more than 50 years ago.

Mar 4, 2015

Israel’s Netanyahu draws rebuke from Obama over Iran speech to Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States on Tuesday that it was negotiating a bad deal with Iran that could spark a “nuclear nightmare,” drawing a rebuke from President Barack Obama and exposing a deepening U.S.-Israeli rift.

They delivered dueling messages within hours of each other.

Netanyahu made his case against Obama’s Iran diplomacy in a speech to Congress that aligned himself with the president’s Republican foes. Obama responded in the Oval Office, declaring in a frustrated tone that Netanyahu offered “nothing new.”

Mar 3, 2015

Israel’s Netanyahu to address Congress on Iran, faces partial boycott

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Almost a quarter of Democratic U.S. lawmakers are expected to boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday as he escalates his campaign against President Barack Obama’s Iran diplomacy in a speech to Congress that has put unprecedented stress on the two leaders’ already strained ties.

Although given the cold shoulder by the U.S. administration, Netanyahu on Monday offered an olive branch, saying he meant no disrespect to Obama by accepting an invitation to speak to U.S. lawmakers that was orchestrated by the president’s rival Republicans.

Mar 2, 2015

On U.S. visit, Netanyahu warns an Iran deal could threaten Israel’s existence

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States on Monday that the nuclear deal it is negotiating with Iran could threaten Israel’s survival and insisted he had a “moral obligation” to speak up about deep differences with President Barack Obama on the issue.

In a preview of a planned address to Congress on Tuesday that has already imperiled U.S.-Israeli ties, Netanyahu voiced fears that talks between Iran and world powers would allow Tehran to become a nuclear-armed state and said this must not happen.

Mar 2, 2015

Netanyahu arrives in U.S., signs of easing of tensions over Iran speech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Israel showed signs of seeking to defuse tensions on Sunday ahead of a speech in Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he will warn against a possible nuclear deal with Iran.

Policy differences over the negotiations with Iran remained firm, however, as Netanyahu arrived in the United States on Sunday afternoon for a speech to Congress, which has imperiled ties between the two allies.

Mar 2, 2015

Netanyahu flies to U.S., signs of some easing of tensions over Iran speech

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The United States and Israel showed signs of seeking to defuse tensions on Sunday ahead of a speech in Washington by Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu when he will warn against a possible nuclear deal with Iran.

Policy differences over the negotiations with Iran remained firm, however, as Netanyahu set off for the United States to deliver the speech, which has imperilled ties between the two allies.

Mar 1, 2015

U.S.-Israel ties fraying over Netanyahu’s planned Iran speech

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Signs are growing that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress against a possible nuclear deal with Iran could damage his country’s broad alliance with the United States.

The right-wing leader’s acceptance of a Republican invitation to address the U.S. legislature already brought Netanyahu’s long-strained relations with President Barack Obama to a new low due to the overture’s partisan nature.

Mar 1, 2015

U.S.-Israel ties fraying over Netanyahu speech, Iran talks

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – As relations between President Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu hit a new low over the Israeli prime minister’s planned speech to Congress and a looming deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran, there are growing signs it could damage the broader U.S.-Israeli alliance.

    Already there has been some fraying of the usually strong relationship amid the frosty personal ties between the two leaders and a deepening divide over the Iran talks, which Israel fears will allow its arch foe to develop an atom bomb.    

Jan 23, 2015

U.S. pulls more staff from Yemen embassy amid deepening crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has pulled more staff out of its embassy in Yemen, U.S. officials said on Thursday as Washington scrambled to cope with the collapse of a government that had been a key ally in the fight against al Qaeda.

The scaling down of its presence in Yemen is the first sign that the latest turmoil there will affect U.S operations in a country that President Barack Obama hailed just four months ago as a model for “successful” counter-terrorism partnerships.

Jan 22, 2015

Obama will not meet Israel’s Netanyahu on U.S. visit

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will not meet Israel’s prime minister when he visits Washington in March, the White House said on Thursday, after being blindsided by the Republicans’ invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu to address the U.S. Congress on Iran.

Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said Obama was withholding an invitation for Oval Office talks with Netanyahu because of Israel’s March 17 elections.

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      "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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