Michele Kelemen appears in the following:
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
The U.S. is participating in a historic diplomatic push to curb Iran's nuclear program. Some argue that the inroads on the nuclear issue may persuade Iran — which supports Hezbollah and the Syrian regime — to play a more constructive role in the region on other issues. But that's far from certain.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
World powers are scrambling to get a hold of a crisis in Central African Republic that U.N. officials have warned could lead to genocide. The nation slipped into bloody anarchy after rebels ousted the president in March.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry has been diving into difficult issues ever since he took up the office at Foggy Bottom. He's managed tough negotiations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai over a future, limited role for U.S. troops there. He's re-launched Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, reached a deal with Russia to rid Syria of chemical weapons and is now making headway with Iran to roll back that country's nuclear program. This is a man clearly looking for legacy.
Monday, November 11, 2013
There's been a rare bit of good news in Eastern Congo this month. One of the rebel groups that have terrorized civilians in the mineral rich part of the the Democratic Republic of Congo agreed to end its rebellion. There's still a lot of work to do to disarm the M23 and to keep other rebel movements in check. But this small victory is a boost for U.N. peacekeepers, who are under a new, tougher mandate to protect civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some experts wonder if this could be a new model for peacekeeping.
Friday, November 08, 2013
LGBT activists from the Russian city of Arkhangelsk are making the rounds in Washington, lobbying the U.S. government to keep up the pressure on the Kremlin over its anti-gay legislation as Russia prepares to host the winter Olympics.
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
The U.N.'s top envoy on Syria says diplomats have failed to agree on a date for a peace conference. Lakhdar Brahimi says he's still hoping such a meeting could take place in Geneva before the end of the year. He had been hoping it would take place this month, but the Syrian rebels aren't ready to attend, the U.S. and Russia have yet to agree on whether Iran should take part and there are many other roadblocks. Brahimi is raising the alarms about a conflict that has affected half of the population, with 6,000 people fleeing every day.
Monday, November 04, 2013
On one side, they are battling forces loyal to the Assad regime; on the other, Islamist rebels from among their own ranks. But while the Islamists and the regime are both well-funded, the moderate rebels are looking to the U.S. for aid — and getting little in return.
Friday, November 01, 2013
President Obama meets at the White House on Friday with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Maliki is planning to ask for more military aid to deal with the growing insurgency in Iraq.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Syria seems to be on course to meet its deadlines to give up its chemical weapons stockpile. It has made its declaration to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the OPCW has visited 21 of the 23 sites it needs to see. Two others are in contested areas. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says all this shows that if there's political will to do something in Syria, it is possible. He's hoping the U.N. Security Council, which backed the chemical weapons agreement, can now work together to ease the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, meets President Obama at the White House on Wednesday. He's the first Pakistani leader to visit the White House in five years. Talks are expected to focus on U.S. security and economic aid, as well as the controversial U.S. drone attacks along the Pakistani-Afghan border.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry met his Russian counterpart in Geneva Thursday to go over the details of Moscow's proposed plan to place Syria's chemical weapons arsenal under UN control.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
The U.S. and its allies await details of Russia's proposal to place Syria's chemical weapons arsenal under UN supervision. Meanwhile, senior Obama administration officials are continuing to press for congressional approval of a potential military strike against the Bashar al-Assad regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons in August.
Monday, September 09, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry says there is one thing Bashar al-Assad's government can do to avoid a punitive U.S. air strike — turn over Syria's chemical weapons stockpile to international control. Russia's foreign minister picked up on the idea, perhaps calling Kerry's bluff, and made the proposal to Syria's foreign minister who happens to be visiting Moscow. Lavrov says he expects a positive response and soon.
Saturday, September 07, 2013
As Congress debates whether to give President Obama the authority to attack Syria, Russia's ambassador told a U.S. think tank Friday that the United States should uphold international norms of war and peace.
Thursday, September 05, 2013
The Obama administration says the goal of a limited strike on Syria is to deter and degrade Syria's ability to use chemical weapons again, not to shift the balance of power on the ground. To end the conflict, U.S. officials say all sides in the civil war need to agree on a transitional government. But many analysts are asking: Will a U.S. military strike help, or hurt, the chances of diplomacy.
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Obama administration officials are making their case for action in Syria, with several Cabinet officials appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Secretary of State John Kerry argues that the U.S. needs to hold Bashar Assad's government accountable for the use of chemical weapons.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry says there is clear evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its citizens. He laid out that evidence at a briefing at the State Department, and pledged a "tailored and limited" US response to hold the Assad regime accountable.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
A UN weapons inspection team is due to leave Syria on Saturday, but it will take time for them to review all of the material they've gathered about an alleged chemical weapons attack. The British government now says it will wait to hear the report before taking any military action to punish Bashar al-Assad's regime. That leaves the U.S. in an awkward position. It has written off the UN route because of Russia's opposition to any action.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The U.S. and its partners say it is "undeniable" that Bashar al-Assad's government used chemical weapons against civilians last week and they are taking their case to the UN Security Council. But, they are likely to face a skeptical Russia and China, who want to wait for a UN team on the ground in Damascus to finish their investigation. A UN envoy on Syria says international law is clear: The Security Council has to endorse any international action. But, if the Security Council remains divided, the U.S. and its partners might have to look for other legal justifications to act.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The U.S. says it is still committed to working with Russia to bring together the warring factions in Syria for a peace conference. Washington, however, postponed a planning meeting as it weighs military options to respond to an alleged chemical weapons attack. Russia says a U.S. strike will only create more problems, and that rebels will have no incentive to negotiate with the Syrian government.