Warren's Feed
Feb 12, 2014

Insight: 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.

Feb 4, 2014

Chemical weapons deal strengthened Assad: U.S. intel chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Last year’s agreement to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons left President Bashar al-Assad in a strengthened position, and there appears little chance rebels will soon force him from power, the U.S. intelligence chief told Congress on Tuesday.

“The prospects are right now that (Assad) is actually in a strengthened position than when we discussed this last year, by virtue of his agreement to remove the chemical weapons, as slow as that process has been,” said James Clapper, director of national intelligence.

Jan 15, 2014

Western, Arab states pledge $2.4 billion in Syria aid

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Western and Gulf Arab nations pledged more than $2.4 billion (1.4 billion pounds) on Wednesday for U.N. aid efforts in Syria, where a near three-year civil war has left millions of people hungry, ailing or displaced.

The pledge arose from a U.N. appeal for $6.5 billion in 2014, which was launched last month and is the largest in the organisation’s history.

Jan 15, 2014

Kerry says undeterred by Israeli criticism of peace push

KUWAIT (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday he would not let criticism of his Middle East peace efforts attributed to Israel’s defense minister deter him from trying to achieve a framework Israeli-Palestinian deal.

“We just can’t let one set of comments undermine that effort, and I don’t intend to,” Kerry told a news conference in Kuwait, where he was attending a donors’ conference for Syria.

Jan 15, 2014

Western, Arab states pledge $1.4 billion in fresh Syria aid

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Western and Gulf Arab nations pledged $1.4 billion (£852 million) on Wednesday for United Nations aid efforts in Syria, where an almost three-year-old civil war has left millions of people hungry, ailing or displaced.

The pledge arose from an appeal for $6.5 billion launched last month that is the largest in U.N. history. The world body estimates that the conflict has reversed development gains in Syria by 35 years, with half its people now living in poverty.

Jan 15, 2014

US, Gulf Arab states pledge $1 billion in fresh Syria aid

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Donors including the United States and wealthy Gulf Arab countries pledged $1 billion on Wednesday for U.N. humanitarian efforts in Syria, devastated by almost three years of civil war.

Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, promised $500 million in fresh assistance, while the United States announced a contribution of $380 million. Qatar and Saudi Arabia pledged $60 million each.

Jan 15, 2014

Kuwait pledges $500 million in Syria aid at donor conference

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Kuwait’s emir promised $500 million on Wednesday for U.N. humanitarian efforts in Syria, devastated by almost three years of civil war.

Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah made the pledge at an international donor conference intended to help the world body reach a $6.5 billion aid target for the crisis in 2014.

Jan 14, 2014

Kerry asks Vatican to help win release of American jailed in Cuba

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday asked the Vatican to help win the release of an American contractor who has been in jail in Cuba since 2009.

Kerry, the first Catholic U.S. secretary of state in more than 30 years, stopped at the Vatican on his way to Kuwait to hold talks with Pope Francis’ top aide, Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin.

Jan 14, 2014

U.S. was slow to lose patience as South Sudan unraveled

WASHINGTON/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – It was a bad start for the U.S. president and the leader of the world’s newest country.

At their first meeting, less than three months after South Sudan’s independence, Barack Obama challenged President Salva Kiir with what he said was U.S. evidence that Kiir’s government was arming rebels fighting the Sudanese government in Khartoum.

Jan 13, 2014

U.S. and Russia say Syria aid access and local ceasefire possible

PARIS (Reuters) – Syria’s government and some rebels may be willing to permit humanitarian aid to flow, enforce local ceasefires and take other confidence-building measures in the nearly three-year-old civil war, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.

Kerry said that he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “talked today about the possibility of trying to encourage a ceasefire. Maybe a localized ceasefire, beginning with Aleppo,” Syria’s largest city. “And both of us have agreed to try to work to see if that could be achieved.”