The internal discussions are aimed at offering a blueprint for future Israeli-Palestinian talks in a bid to advance a critical foreign-policy initiative that has made little progress during Mr. Obama's two terms in the White House, the officials said. The strongest element on the list of options under consideration would be U.S. support for a Security Council resolution calling on both sides to compromise on key issues, something Israel had opposed and Washington has repeatedly vetoed in the past. Other initiatives could include a presidential speech and a joint statement from the Middle East Quartet, an international group comprising the U.S., the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.According to the Journal, the President Barack Obama hasn't made up his mind but "is considering a range of options." In any case no decision is expected until later this year.
We can debate how much blame Obama deserves for Syria’s civil war, but almost no one outside his paid staff disputes that he’s only made things worse. The conflict there has set off the worst humanitarian crisis in Europe since the end of World War II — that’s John Kerry’s own assessment — which may yet tear the European Union asunder. The instability closer to the fighting is even more dangerous. Russia and Turkey may soon go to war with one another, as Russia mercilessly and indiscriminately massacres anyone standing in the way of its pet, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The Jordanian monarchy may crumble, in part for a lack of assistance from the United States.
The new bill, which was filed Wednesday afternoon, marks an aggressive push by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to combat the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, otherwise known as BDS, which advocates in favor of economic war against the Jewish state. The bill would provide legal shelter to states seeking to divest taxpayer funds from any company that has backed the BDS movement. It also would set a legal precedent granting safe harbor for private investment companies to do the same.
in October, Iran tested a nuclear-capable ballistic missile that was later determined by the United Nations to have been in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929. The administration, in response to Congressional pressure, was set to impose new sanctions on Iran at the end of 2015, but retreated when threatened by Iran.Rather than leave Obama exposed to more embarrassment if he has to veto or block an Iran sanctions bill, Senate Democrats are trying to do the work for him. According to The Hill:
Now, the Secretary then got on the phone with Foreign Minister Zarif for the first time – I think the first of at least five phone calls they had during the course of that afternoon and evening – at about 1 o’clock in the afternoon. The main message that he – there were a few messages he wanted to convey to the foreign minister. One, to provide him with some information about our understanding of what had happened, which was not perfect but was sort of developing in real time. And we had gathered some information including that the sailors were in transit at the time of the incident, that they were in transit between Kuwait and Bahrain, that they may have had some sort of mechanical problem – although at that point we weren’t sure – that we had lost communications with them, and that we had indications that they were now located on Farsi Island in the Gulf. The Secretary made clear that our most important priority – and that this was critical – was that they be released, obviously, safely and unharmed and as quickly as possible, and that if we were able to do this – and this is something that he said to Zarif on a few occasions – if we are able to do this in the right way, we can make this into what will be a good story for both of us.Think about that last line, "a good story for both of us."
In a confidential strategy paper exclusively obtained by Foreign Policy, the office of the United Nations’ top envoy to Syria warns that the U.N. would be unable to monitor or enforce any peace deal that might emerge from landmark political talks underway in Geneva. The paper raised concerns the world might harbor unrealistic expectations about the U.N.’s ability to oversee and verify a cease-fire in a civil war beset by a dizzying array of armed factions and terrorist groups. “The current international and national political context and the current operational environment strongly suggest that a U.N. peacekeeping response relying on international troops or military observers would be an unsuitable modality for ceasefire monitoring,” according to the “Draft Ceasefire Modalities Concept Paper” by U.N. envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura’s team. In plain English, that means Syria will be far too dangerous for some time for traditional U.N. peacekeepers to handle.
So, when I came into office, the world was divided and Iran was in the driver's seat. Now the world's united because of the actions we've taken, and Iran's the one that's isolated.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday thanked Iran for its cooperation in the release of 10 sailors who had mistakenly entered Iran's territorial waters, an incident that stoked international tension.
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