July 15, 2013 |
CAIRO - With the Obama administration facing recriminations across Egypt for its response to the July 3 military coup, a top U.S. diplomat began a two-day visit to Cairo on Monday to press for a halt to violence and a swift transition to a new democratic government. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns, the first senior U.S. official to visit since the coup, met with Egypt's military-backed interim leaders as demonstrators held another large rally on the other side of the city demanding the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
June 21, 2013 |
In one of the more bizarre diplomatic events of late, turbaned envoys of the Taliban cut a pink satin ribbon across the entrance of a two-story villa in Doha, Qatar, a fixed address where U.S. negotiators can find the fugitive extremists when they want to talk about peace for Afghanistan. The ritual took place under the Taliban flag and a plaque proclaiming the office a mission of “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” Those were the symbols of statehood displayed by the Taliban during the five years they held tyrannical rule over Afghanistan and harbored Al Qaeda while it plotted the Sept.
June 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration announced Monday that it had chosen a longtime Washington attorney who has worked in both Democratic and Republican administrations to find a way to close down the prison at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The action comes three days after the Republican-led House overwhelmingly passed a defense measure to keep the prison running. The State Department made the announcement of Clifford Sloan as the new envoy charged with closing the prison that has held some of the top terrorism captives since the island fortress was built months after the Sept.
June 7, 2013 |
With his decision to elevate Susan Rice to become his national security advisor and the nomination of Samantha Power as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, President Obama is not simply rewarding the loyalty of two women who have backed him from the start. Nor is he merely increasing the diversity of his foreign policy team. Rather, their promotions hints at a new source of fireworks in a growing foreign policy battle in the Obama administration. Liberal hawks and doves in the White House and the Democratic Party are struggling for hearts and minds over whether it makes sense to intervene in Syria and to attack Iran.
May 24, 2013 |
BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday personally received a handwritten letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, signaling a possible rapprochement after months of estrangement between the communist allies. The contents of the letter were not disclosed, but the envoy who delivered the message, Choe Ryong Hae, the North Korean military's top political officer, had earlier indicated a willingness to return to negotiations concerning its controversial nuclear program.
May 8, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Minutes after Greg Hicks learned that the perimeter of the U.S. mission in Benghazi had been breached by men with guns, he punched a cellphone number to reach Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, his immediate boss, who was at the scene. "Greg, we're under attack," Stevens told Hicks, the deputy chief of the mission, Hicks testified to Congress on Wednesday. Then the connection was lost. Hicks never spoke to his boss again. Stevens died soon afterward, as the Benghazi mission went up in flames around him. Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were universal in their praise of the gripping, soft-spoken, minute-by-minute account they heard Wednesday from Hicks, the first public testimony from a government official who was in Libya during the assault that killed four Americans in September.
April 24, 2013 |
Afghanistan has suffered “a troubling rise” in killings of civilians, with the figure surging almost 30% in the first three months of the year, according to a United Nations envoy. Despite the sobering statistic, the U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that other facts “highlight the improved security across the country,” including dramatic increases in the number of children in school and the share of Afghans who have access to healthcare. The death toll is being closely watched because Afghan forces are slated to take over responsibility for securing the country ahead of the departure of most foreign troops in 2014.
March 15, 2013 |
NEW DELHI - India ratcheted up its diplomatic standoff with Rome over a shooting incident last year, issuing orders at major airports and seaports Friday that the Italian ambassador was not allowed to leave the country without permission. The move could send relations into uncharted territory given international conventions against detaining diplomats. While it's not unusual for countries to expel diplomats during a disagreement, it's far less common to detain them. New Delhi also canceled the posting of its own ambassador to Italy, according to local media reports - possibly fearful Rome might do the same to its diplomat, by some accounts - and threatened to review all business and trade ties between the two countries.
February 17, 2013 |
BEIRUT - The United Nations-backed peace envoy called Sunday for talks in a fresh bid to end Syria's bloodshed, but deep distrust between both sides in the conflict casts doubt on the likelihood of meaningful dialogue. Negotiations between the Syrian opposition and an "acceptable delegation" from the government of President Bashar Assad "will be a beginning to exit the dark tunnel which Syria has entered," said Lakhdar Brahimi, special peace envoy for the U.N. and the Arab League.
December 29, 2012 |
MOSCOW -- Syrian President Bashar Assad has no intention of leaving his country and rebels for the time being should put aside the demand that he step aside as a precondition for negotiations, Russia's top diplomat said Saturday following a meeting in Moscow with the United Nations' peace envoy to the conflict. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said envoy Lakhdar Brahimi told him that Assad was determined to “stay in his position to the end and will protect Syrian people, Syrian sovereignty and so on and so forth and there is no chance to change his position.” Brahimi met with the Syrian leader this week before traveling on to Moscow.