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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 scrambles to save his torpedoed peace effort

US Secretary of State John Kerry was scrambling Wednesday to save his faltering Middle East peace efforts, after both Israel and Palestinians delivered him a stunning slap in the face. The top US diplomat, who has made the quest for a long-elusive peace treaty his personal holy grail, was blindsided late Tuesday as minutes before a press conference at the NATO headquarters, both sides went rogue.

Kerry to pay first visits to Algeria and Morocco

US Secretary of State John Kerry will make long-delayed visits to Algeria and Morocco next week on his first trip to both countries, his spokeswoman said Wednesday. The top US diplomat will first travel to Algiers for meetings with top officials ahead of similar talks in Morocco, Jen Psaki said. Kerry had originally planned to visit both countries late last year, but had to change his schedule at the last minute. While in Algiers, Kerry will also co-chair the US-Algeria Strategic Dialogue with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, Psaki said in a statement.

Kerry heads on crunch Ukraine talks with Russian FM

US Secretary of State John Kerry headed Thursday for last-ditch talks with Russia seeking to defuse tensions over Ukraine and warning Moscow of a serious backlash over Crimea's breakaway vote. Just hours before he left for London to meet again with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov ahead of Sunday's vote, the top US diplomat cautioned Moscow to move to help end the crisis.

US, EU may unveil 'serious' steps Monday over Crimea

US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia Thursday that Washington and Europe were preparing a tough response to a breakaway vote in Ukraine's Crimea, depending on how Moscow reacts. Russia's national security team was meeting Thursday in Sochi, Kerry told US lawmakers as he prepared to fly to London for last-ditch talks on Friday with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. And without doubt Moscow will respond in some way to Sunday's referendum, Kerry said.

France says Russia sanctions over Ukraine could come this week

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned Tuesday that sanctions against Russia could come as early as this week if Moscow does not respond to Western proposals to solve the crisis in Ukraine. "If they respond positively (to the proposals), (US Secretary of State) John Kerry will go to Moscow, and then sanctions will not be immediate. If they do not respond or if they respond negatively, there will be a series of sanctions that could be taken as early as this week," he said on France Inter radio.

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."
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