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Diplomacy

The Takeaway

Madeleine Albright Explores the American Relationship with China

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright managed the United States' relationship with a rapidly-changing China at the turn of the millennium. As the United States and China continue to negotiate for the safety of dissident Chen Guangcheng, Secretary Albright discusses the United States' current relationship with China, and her new book, "Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948."

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The Takeaway

Chinese Dissident Leaves US Embassy

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Prominent Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has left the U.S. embassy in Beijing a week after seeking shelter after escaping from house arrest. Jonathan Fenby is former editor of the South China Morning Post and his latest book on China is called “Tiger Head, Snake Tails: China Today."

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The Takeaway

Diplomats Respond to Violence in Syria

Thursday, March 01, 2012

As Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad continue to bomb opposition strongholds, the international community considers its options. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before Congress against President Assad making an argument that Assad would "fit into that category" of "war criminals." A meeting at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday also signaled renewed diplomatic efforts in Syria, but exactly how the international community might intervene remains to be seen.

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The Takeaway

Iran: Hope for Diplomacy?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

On Wednesday, Iran claimed to have made advances in the master production of nuclear fuel despite increasingly tough sanctions by the West over its controversial nuclear program. This week Iran has also been in the headlines for a series of attacks in Thailand, India and Georgia. Furthermore, relations between Israel and Iran are increasingly strained with threats of aggression coming from both sides. Is there still hope for diplomacy between Iran and Western governments?

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Ambassador Pickering on Iran, Syria, and Diplomacy

Monday, February 06, 2012

Ambassador Thomas Pickering, former ambassador and trustee of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, discusses the U.S. relationship with Iran, the crisis in Syria and the UN's inaction and what diplomatic options the U.S. should consider when dealing with the the Mideast.

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The Takeaway

US to Sell Weapons to Iraq, Despite Concerns

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Despite deep worries over the continuing stability of the Iraqi government, the U.S. is planning on selling $11 billion of arms and training to Iraq's military. The sale comes as Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has attempted to marginalize Iraq's Sunni minority since the U.S. withdrew its forces earlier in the month, setting off concerns over civil war. The Obama administration hopes the sale, which includes tanks and fighter jets, will help Iraq build its military and secure its border with Iran. But some American officials worry Iraq's government will move to align itself with the Shiite theocracy in Tehran.

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The Takeaway

Embattled Yemeni Leader Allowed to Seek Treatment in US

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

After fierce internal debate, the White House has decided to allow Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to travel to the United States to seek medical treatment, The New York Times reported on Monday. The decision is expected to be met with controversy. Many Yemenis want to see Saleh prosecuted for the deaths of hundreds of anti-government demonstrators who were killed protesting his decades-long rule. The Obama administration hopes removing Saleh from Yemen will help clear a path for democratic elections next year. Hakim Almasari, editor of The Yemen Post, reacts to the decision from Sana'a.

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The Takeaway

After Kim Jong-il, What's Next for North Korea?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Within hours of announcing North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il's death on Sunday, the country's ruling Workers' Party released a statement saying North Korea would unite Kim's youngest son, Kim Jong-un. Not much is known about Kim Jong-un, who was named his father's heir apparent last year. He is believed to be in his late twenties, and apparently went to boarding school in Switzerland. Whether the younger Kim will be able to maintain control of his country and stick to his father's brand of hard-line Communism remains to be seen. The older Kim left North Korea's economy in shambles, and thousands of people are believed to be starving.

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The Takeaway

A Look at the Life and Legacy of Kim Jong-il

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Takeaway continues its coverage of the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il with a look at his life and legacy with two men who have been close North Korea observers for years. Stephen Bosworth, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, served as the special representative for North Korea policy. Michael Breen is the author of one of the few English language biographies of Kim, "Kim Jong-il: North Korea's Dear Leader."

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The Takeaway

North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-il Dead at 69

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kim Jong-il, the North Korean dictator who made his isolated country a nuclear power, died on Saturday of a heart attack at age 69. State media kept the death a secret for nearly two days, suggesting a possible leadership vacuum. North Korea's ruling Workers' Party released a statement suggesting that Kim's youngest son, Kim Jong-un, had succeeded his father. North Korea conducted a short-range missile test on Monday, according to unconfirmed reports from South Korea.

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The Takeaway

The Life and Death of Kim Jong-il: North Korea's 'Dear Leader'

Monday, December 19, 2011

He ruled North Korea with an iron fist for 17 years. His infamous isolationism and nuclear ambitions made him a part of George W. Bush's notorious "Axis of Evil." He was one of the last Communist leaders in the world around whom a cult of personality existed. But how Kim Jong-il, the North Korean dictator, will be truly be remembered by his people is yet to be seen. Referred to as "Dear Leader," Kim sank his country into deep famine and ravaged its economy. Though media images out of North Korea may show people weeping in the streets, it's hard to know whether there is real grief behind the tears.

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The Takeaway

Obama, Clinton Call on World to End LGBT Discrimination

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

In a possibly historic move, the Obama administration announced its dedication to promoting LGBT rights around the world. In a memorandum from the president, and a speech from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the administration equated LGBT rights with human right, vowing to spend $3 million to finance LGBT rights organizations. "In reality, gay people are born into — and belong to — every society in the world," Clinton said to an audience of representatives of 47 nations, who gave her a standing ovation. (Watch the speech after the jump.)

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The Takeaway

Looking at the Future of US-Myanmar Relations

Thursday, December 01, 2011

For years, relations between the U.S. and Myanmar have been frozen. Myanmar is one of the least developed countries in the world, with systematic human rights violations, rampant child labor, and a health care system that has been ranked by the World Health Organization as the worst in the world. But a historic visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the isolated country this week may represent a late thaw. In a step that could transform American diplomacy in the region, the U.S. and Myanmar are considering exchanging ambassadors.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Remembering Richard Holbrooke

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kati Marton, Richard Holbrooke’s widow;James Traub, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine; and Reuters columnist David Rohde, talk about the career of Richard Holbrooke, who was a pivotal player in U.S. diplomacy for more than 40 years and who died last December. Most recently special envoy for Iraq and Afghanistan under President Obama, Holbrooke also served as assistant secretary of state for both Asia and Europe, and as ambassador to both Germany and the United Nations, and played a key role in brokering a peace agreement in Bosnia that led to the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords. The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World is a tribute to his work as a public servant and a backstage history of the last half-century of American foreign policy.

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The Takeaway

Clinton Visits Myanmar After Political Reforms

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It was only a few years ago the Bush administration labeled Myanmar "an outpost of tyranny." But on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton became the first secretary of state to visit the repressive and isolated nation in 50 years. The Obama administration has been keen on engaging with the military-backed civilian government of Myanmar after the country made some significant democratic reforms. In the past year, elections were held for a nominally civilian government, and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest after two decades. Yet even as changes take hold in Rangoon, persecution against the country's ethnic minorities continue.

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The Takeaway

Aung San Suu Kyi to Run for Parliament in Myanmar

Friday, November 18, 2011

A year after being released from two decades of house arrest, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi announced she will return to politics and run for a seat in Myanmar's Parliament. Her National League for Democracy party plans to contest all 48 vacant seats in Parliament. The NLD boycotted Myanmar's last election, its first in 20 years, because Suu Kyi was banned from running for office by the military-backed government. Hours before the announcement, President Obama said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Myanmar, making her the first secretary of state in 50 years to do so.

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The Takeaway

Imprisoned American Hikers in Iran to be Freed

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two years after Americans Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were captured by the Iranian government while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border and charged with espionage, their lawyer says they may be freed on Wednesday. The news comes a week after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told The Today Show that the hikers would be freed, only to be rebuffed by Iran's judiciary, which said only it could release the prisoners. Now, Masoud Shafiei, the Iranian lawyer acting on behalf of Bauer and Fattal, says he expects his client to be "freed today."

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The Takeaway

Iran Frees Imprisoned American Hikers

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The State Department has confirmed that two Americans who have been imprisoned in Iran have been released. Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were captured by the Iranian government while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border and charged with espionage two years ago. The fate of the two men has been unclear since last week when, a day after President Mahmoud Amadinedjad told The Today Show that the hikers would be freed, Iran's judiciary said Ahmadinejad had no authority to release them. The men were released on $1 million bail.

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The Takeaway

The People Behind the Imprisoned Hikers' Release

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The State Department has confirmed that two Americans who have been imprisoned in Iran have been released. Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were captured by while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border and charged with espionage two years ago. Over the last two years since their arrest, numerous diplomats, politicians, and NGOs have advocated on behalf of Bauer and Fattal, pressing Iran to release the men. One of the groups that have worked tirelessly on the case is Search for Common Ground. William Miller, a former U.S. ambassador, is a senior adviser to Search for Common Ground, and talks about his advocacy on behalf of the detainees. Nihad Awad, president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was part of a delegation trying to get the hikers released.

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The Takeaway

Arab Spring Realigns Power and Diplomacy in Middle East

Thursday, September 15, 2011

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman arrived in Libya on Wednesday to meet with leaders of the National Transition Council, saying that the U.S. has "an enduring commitment to support the Libyan people as they chart their country's future." French President Nicholas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron also arrived on Thursday morning. Elsewhere in the region, diplomatic ties have broken down between Israel and its closest Arab allies, Turkey and Egypt, as the Palestinian Authority makes a bid for statehood before the United Nations.

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