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U.S. officials warn Pakistan risks sanctions over Iran pipeline

Pakistan risks sparking US sanctions if it pursues its plans with Iran to build a $7.5 billion gas pipeline linking the two nations, a senior US official said in a renewed warning Monday. “We have serious concerns, if this project actually goes forward, that the Iran Sanctions Act would be…

U.S. hails constitutional transfer of power in Malawi

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday congratulated Joyce Banda on becoming Malawi’s new president following what it hailed as a peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. In Lilongwe, Banda on Saturday told supporters there was no room for revenge as she was sworn in as Africa’s second female head…

U.S. suspends Mali aid after coup

WASHINGTON — The United States said Monday it was suspending tens of millions of dollars in aid to Mali after a coup in the African nation last week, and called for the elected government to be restored. “We have now taken the decision to suspend our assistance to the government…

U.S. hopes North Korea pressure comes to bear

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday voiced hope that North Korea would heed international calls to call off a missile launch after even Pyongyang’s main ally China expressed concern. The State Department highlighted the unity in position among the five nations that were involved in moribund denuclearization talks with…

U.S. denies sending warning to Iran via Russia

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday denied a report that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told her Russian counterpart that upcoming talks on Iran’s nuclear program were a “last chance” to resolve the long-running standoff. “The secretary did not send a warning to the Iranians through Foreign Minister (Sergei)…

U.S. ready to provide aid for Congo blasts

WASHINGTON — The United States said Monday it is preparing to provide emergency aid to the victims of huge and deadly blasts at a munitions depot in Congo. “We are obviously saddened by the loss of life and damage caused by Sunday’s explosion at the munitions depot in Brazzaville,” State…

U.S. says Syrian referendum plan is ‘laughable’

WASHINGTON — The United States Wednesday dismissed Syria’s call for a referendum on a new constitution, which critics see as a move designed to ease global outrage over the government’s bloody crackdown. “It’s actually quite laughable — it makes a mockery of the Syrian revolution,” White House spokesman Jay Carney…

U.S. to downsize Iraq embassy

The United States said Tuesday that it planned to downsize its embassy in Iraq, the largest US diplomatic mission in the world, in hopes of saving money after the end of the war. The New York Times, quoting unnamed officials, said the United States would slash the 16,000-strong staff by…

U.S. ‘seriously concerned’ about Tibet violence

WASHINGTON — The United States said Tuesday it was “seriously concerned” by reports of deadly clashes in Tibetan regions of China, where police are accused of opening fire on peaceful protesters. “We urge the Chinese government to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives as…

State Department explains foreign policy to Twitter followers

The US State Department on Friday launched a new high-tech form of outreach to the international community when it took questions on foreign policy from Twitter followers in different languages. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland answered a number of tweets from followers in English as well as those arriving in…

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