News / Europe

Clinton Two-Day Moscow Visit to Include Mideast Talks

TEXT SIZE - +

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Moscow working toward a new strategic arms agreement with Russia.  The secretary's two-day agenda includes a multilateral meeting Friday with Russian, European Union and United Nations officials to discuss Middle East peace efforts.

Secretary Clinton will be meeting her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, Thursday and President Dmitri Medvedev on Friday.  The bilateral meetings are focusing on a replacement for the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expired in December.  President Barack Obama and Mr. Medvedev pledged last year to cut the number of American and Russian nuclear warheads to between 1,500 and 1,675.   However, renegotiating a new treaty has proven more difficult than expected.  The head of the New Eurasia Foundation research group in Moscow, Andrei Kortunov, explains.

"There are issues related to verification, for example, maybe there are disagreements over specific numbers, and definitely, there is a logic which is related to American ABM [missile defense] systems," he said.

Those systems are part of an American plan to build a long-range missile defense system in Europe.  The issue is back on the table following an announcement that Romania would host elements of a new system, after the Obama Administration scrapped a similar plan for Poland.  The United States says a missile shield is needed to protect Europe against a possible attack by Iran.  The Kremlin fears it would be used to threaten Russia.

Clinton holds talks Friday with the so-called Quartet group of peacemakers.  Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the European Union by Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, the United Nations by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the United States by Secretary Clinton.  The Quartet's Special Representative, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, will also attend. Their formal talks will be preceded by a dinner Thursday evening.

The Quartet is mediating an Israeli-Palestinian peace effort.  That effort has been stalled, most recently, because of an Israeli plan to build 1,600 housing units for Jews in mostly Arab East Jerusalem.  Clinton has called the Israeli plan insulting and scolded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the issue in an angry telephone conversation, last Friday.  The Israeli leader later praised President Obama's commitment to Israel's security.  

Analyst Yevgeniy Satanovsky, president of Moscow's Middle East-Israeli Institute, is skeptical that the Quartet will accomplish anything more than what he says are "talks about talks."  He says the reason is that Israel has invested too much in settlements to back off.

Satanovsky says there are Israelis who have spend decades and billions of dollars on settlements, and generations of politicians and analysts built their careers around the issue.  He says such people will not accept that their efforts came to a dead-end and that they were mistaken.

Iran's nuclear program is also expected to be reviewed by Clinton and Lavrov. Before heading for Russia, U.S. Undersecretary of State and former Ambassador to Russia William Burns said " it's time to demonstrate that there are consequences" to Tehran's continued defiance of international concerns about its nuclear program.  Earlier this month, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said his country is ready to consider new sanctions against Iran, if persuasion fails to stop it from enriching uranium.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid