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Kerry: 'It was easier' in Cold War

Secretary of State John Kerry attested Tuesday to the massively complex challenges Washington faces in Ukraine, Russia, Iran and the Middle East, declaring "it was easier" during the Cold War. In a candid moment during a State Department speech, the top US diplomat said changing global power dynamics made a quaint memory of the early East-West stalemate, when American children would "crouch under our desks at school and practice" safety steps for a possible nuclear attack.

Ukraine agreement built on fragile foundations

By Arshad Mohammed and Tom Miles WASHINGTON/GENEVA (Reuters) - The agreement designed to pull Ukraine back from the brink of civil war had been floundering around lunchtime on Thursday, so U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia's Sergei Lavrov, a smoker, stepped outside for a private word in the open air. They appear to have made some progress. When they came back inside, a new session of formal negotiations was hastily arranged and, finally, a deal agreed.

EU backs Kerry's Mideast push

European foreign ministers on Saturday said they fully supported efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to keep Middle East peace talks alive as tension mounted on both sides. "We support the efforts of Secretary of State Kerry," EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said at the close of a two-day meeting in Athens. Kerry has laboured lately to bring Palestinians and Israelis back from the brink.

Kerry in danger of losing big bet on Middle East peace

John Kerry's high-stakes gamble that he could finally achieve the dream of generations and bring peace to the Middle East seems to be collapsing as easily as a house of cards. Despite a dozen visits to Israel and the West Bank since he became US secretary of state 14 months ago and many more late-night meetings with his recalcitrant partners in capitals around the world, it appears after all that he may have been trumped.

Kerry confirms discussions with Ukraine, Russia to continue

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that "intense discussions" with Russia and Ukraine would continue in the coming days in the hope of securing a de-escalation of current tensions between them. "We initiated a process today that we hope will eventually lead to de-escalation," Kerry told reporters after a day of diplomatic negotiations in Paris ended with Russia refusing to bow to Western demands for direct talks with the new Ukraine government.

Foreign policy in US national security interest

The US State Department unveiled a request Tuesday for a heftier $46.2 billion for its 2015 budget, saying investing in foreign policy was a "strategic imperative." "From Tunisia to Ukraine, the Philippines to South Sudan, I've never witnessed a moment in our country's history more than this one where our investments in diplomacy and development truly amounted to what a wise senator once observed is 'national security insurance,'" top US diplomat John Kerry wrote in the foreword to his department's budget request.

Kerry condemns Russia's 'incredible act of aggression' in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday condemned Russia's "incredible act of aggression" in Ukraine and threatened "very serious repercussions" from the United States and other countries, including sanctions to isolate Russia economically. "You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text," Kerry told the CBS program "Face the Nation."

Russian troops in Ukraine threaten regional peace

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday told Moscow it was risking regional peace and security by deploying troops to Ukraine and warned of deep damage US-Russia ties. "Unless immediate and concrete steps are taken by Russia to deescalate tensions, the effect on US-Russian relations and on Russia's international standing will be profound," Kerry said in a statement. Moscow's actions not only violated international accords but were also "a threat to the peace and security of Ukraine, and the wider region," he added.

Kerry decries 'new isolationism', says U.S. acts like poor nation

By Arshad Mohammed and Lesley Wroughton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry decried what he called a "new isolationism" in the United States on Wednesday and suggested that the country was beginning to behave like a poor nation. Speaking to reporters, Kerry inveighed against what he sees as a tendency within the United States to retreat from the world even as he defended the Obama administration's diplomatic efforts from Syria to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Kerry opens door to extended talks for Israeli-Palestinian deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged on Wednesday he hopes at best to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a "framework" for a peace agreement by April 29, but that a final deal could take another nine months or more. Kerry brought the two sides back into negotiations on July 29 after a three-year gap and, at the time, said that "Our objective will be to achieve a final status agreement over the course of the next nine months."
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