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U.S. urges ‘responsible’ handover of Afghan prison

WASHINGTON — The United States said Thursday the transfer of a US military prison to Afghan control should be handled in a “responsible” way, after Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered that the handover take place in a month. “We have been working… for some time with the Afghan government on…

Next Israel-Palestinian talks on Monday

WASHINGTON — The next direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians will take place in Jordan on Monday, the US State Department said. “The next meeting is now on Monday the 9th,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Thursday, confirming they will take place in the Jordanian capital Amman,…

U.S. undecided on inmate release for Taliban talks

WASHINGTON — The United States said Wednesday it has taken no decision to release prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in order to boost reconciliation talks with the Taliban. But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington is “prepared to support” a proposed overseas Taliban office that backs an Afghan-led reconciliation…

Congress frees up $40 million for Palestinians

WASHINGTON — The US State Department said Congress has released $40 million in aid to the Palestinians, part of the nearly $200 million that was frozen over their bid for full UN recognition. “We have been working with Congress for some time, because we don’t think it’s in US national…

U.S. denies interfering in Egyptian affairs

WASHINGTON — The United States Wednesday rejected accusations that it was interfering in Egyptian affairs, after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments provoked an angry response from Cairo. “We are going to speak out for the human rights of people around the world. We do not consider that interference,”…

Irony alert: U.S. calls on Russia to respect peaceful protests

WASHINGTON — The United States called Friday on both Russian authorities and protesters to remain peaceful as opponents of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin prepared major weekend demonstrations against his rule. Putin has angrily accused the United States of inciting the protests after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised concerns about…

U.S. to cease observing arms treaty with Russia: State Dept

WASHINGTON — The United States said Tuesday it would no longer provide data to Russia on conventional weapons and troops in Europe, citing non-compliance by Moscow with a two-decade old treaty that governed the information exchange. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the United States will cease to observe…

Three Americans arrested amid Egypt protests

WASHINGTON — Three Americans have been arrested in Egypt in connection with the anti-military rallies that have rocked the country in recent days, the US State Department said Tuesday. When asked if the three US nationals were believed to be safe, department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the government had “no…

Syria blasts U.S. for ‘blatant interference’

Damascus on Saturday strongly condemned Washington after the US State Department advised Syrians against surrendering following an amnesty for those who give up weapons. “The American administration disclosed again its blatant interference in Syria’s internal affairs, and its policy which supports killing, in addition to its funding of the terrorist…

U.S. sanctions militant Haqqani network commander

WASHINGTON — The United States took action Tuesday aimed at ensuring that a jailed commander of the militant Haqqani network or his associates never benefit from funds under American jurisdiction. The State Department blacklisted commander Mali Khan under an executive order signed by President George W. Bush in 2001 in…

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