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May 16, 2013

Obama: U.S. preserves diplomatic, military options on Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday he reserved the right to resort to both diplomatic and military options to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but insisted that U.S. action alone would not be enough to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Taking a cautious line at a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, Obama voiced hope that the United States and Russia would succeed in arranging an international peace conference on Syria, despite signs of growing obstacles.

May 14, 2013

Turkey’s Erdogan to push Obama on Syria after bombings

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Turkey’s prime minister will push President Barack Obama for more assertive action on Syria during a visit to Washington this week, days after car bombs tore through a Turkish border town in the deadliest spillover of violence yet.

The bombings in Reyhanli, which killed 50 people on Saturday, and activists’ reports of a massacre of Sunni Muslims in a Syrian coastal town have incensed Tayyip Erdogan, already critical of the slow international response to the conflict.

May 10, 2013

Ukraine optimistic on getting $15 billion IMF loan

ISTANBUL, May 10 (Reuters) – Ukraine is optimistic that it
will sign a $15 billion loan deal with the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) in the near future after positive talks,
Finance Minister Yuri Kolobov told Reuters on Friday.

“The (view) of both sides is that the negotiations are very
fruitful and that in the nearest future both sides are
interested in signing this agreement,” Kolobov said on the
sidelines of a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
conference in Istanbul.

May 10, 2013

Kazakhstan plans up to $1 bln Eurobond this year

ISTANBUL, May 10 (Reuters) – Oil-rich Kazakhstan will return
to global bond markets this year with an issue of up to $1
billion and has invited banks to apply to manage the deal,
Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev said on Friday.

Kazakhstan has one of the lowest public debt ratios in
emerging markets and its last sovereign Eurobond matured in
2007. Zhamishev said a new bond would be aimed at creating a
benchmark for corporate borrowers.

Apr 28, 2013

Syria’s neighbors cautious about U.S.-led intervention

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Syria’s neighbors, wary of stirring a conflict that could spill back over their borders, would be reluctant partners in a U.S.-led intervention but are ultimately likely to support limited military action if widespread use of chemical weapons is proven.

The White House disclosed U.S. intelligence on Thursday that Syria had likely used chemical weapons, a move President Barack Obama had said could trigger unspecified consequences, widely interpreted to include possible U.S. military action.

Apr 21, 2013

Syrian opposition rejects extremism in nod to Western demands

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Syria’s opposition outlined its vision for an era after President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday, rejecting “all forms of terrorism” and vowing to keep weapons out of the “wrong hands” in a nod to the demands of its Western backers.

After six hours of meetings in a palace on the shores of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, the declaration by the main opposition Syrian National Coalition was welcomed by allies including the United States and Britain.

Apr 20, 2013

Syria opposition voices frustration with international backers

ISTANBUL, April 20 (Reuters) – Syrian opposition figures
voiced frustration with their international backers on Saturday
in the face of reluctance from some to supply the rebels with
weapons and a call for them to distance themselves from
extremist forces.

Speaking at a meeting of the Friends of Syria in Istanbul,
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Germany was
sceptical about supplying weapons to the rebels but said the
subject should be discussed by the European Union.

Mar 27, 2013

S&P raises Turkey to just below investment grade

NEW YORK/ISTANBUL, March 27 (Reuters) – Ratings agency
Standard & Poor’s raised Turkey to within a whisker of
investment grade on Wednesday, citing a rebalancing economy and
progress in a Kurdish peace process, but the move failed to
impress the country’s finance minister.

The ratings agency lifted Turkey’s sovereign credit rating
to BB-plus from BB with a stable outlook, noting that its
external financing requirements had declined thanks to strong
exports and a drop in domestic demand.

Mar 27, 2013

Turkey c.bank eyes Cyprus, hunkers down for falling inflows

ISTANBUL, March 27 (Reuters) – Turkey’s central bank
signalled a move away from its focus on protecting the economy
against hot money on Wednesday, hunkering down instead for the
threat of falling capital inflows if the crisis in Cyprus
triggers global risk aversion.

The bank said there had been a “notable” deceleration in
inflows recently and that this, combined with its tighter
liquidity policy, would dampen the credit growth it has spent
much of the past two years trying to keep in check.

Mar 22, 2013

Turkish PM says Kurdish peace moves open to sabotage

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused Kurdish politicians on Friday of trying to sabotage talks to end a 28-year-old insurrection, lamenting the absence of Turkish flags during a mass rally to mark a ceasefire by Kurdish rebels.

Jailed rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan ordered his fighters to cease fire and withdraw from Turkey in a letter read to hundreds of thousands in the city of Diyarbakir in the mainly Kurdish southeast on Thursday. Kurdish red-yellow-green flags and banners displaying Ocalan’s face dominated the crowd.

    • About Nick

      "Based in Lagos since early 2008, responsible for coverage of Africa's most populous nation. Previously based in Senegal for four years, covering West and Central Africa, and before that in Germany and Britain."
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