News / USA

Kerry's Berlin Stop Focuses on Talks with Russia

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the start of their meeting in Berlin, February 26, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the start of their meeting in Berlin, February 26, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Michael Scaturro
— U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Berlin Tuesday, on the second leg of an 11-day trip that includes stops in Turkey and the Middle East. A major focus of Kerry's visit to Germany was a meeting with his Russian counterpart.  

Before leaving for talks in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State Kerry met for almost two hours with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.  State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that the two men spent most of their meeting discussing Syria.

Later this week in Rome, Kerry will attend a conference on Syria that aims, for the first time, to bring together government representatives and opposition leaders.  Kerry and Lavrov also discussed the issue of adopted Russian children.

Political analyst Sergei Lagodinsky said Russia is overplaying the adoption issue to score domestic political points.  Yet he says it was smart for Kerry to address it head on.

"It was a nice gesture to signal to the Russians 'we understand that you are very critical or anti-American, but we take your concerns seriously enough to address them in such a bilateral meeting,'" he said.  "And I think it's not a reset button, but it's a sign of saying 'OK, we understand that there is animosity involved in your internal debates, but we nevertheless take the issue of children seriously.'"

Earlier in the day, Kerry met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  In a joint press conference, Kerry reiterated the Obama administration's interest in signing a free trade agreement with the European Union.

"Most important, I think the President - President Obama - believes there is a unique opportunity, looking at now, and that is the Transatlantic Partnership, Investment, and Trade Agreement," he said.  "We think this is something that can lift the economy of Europe, strengthen our economy, create jobs for Americans, for Germans, for all Europeans, and create one of the largest allied markets in the world."  

Kerry also addressed the Iran nuclear issue.  But the secretary said he was reluctant to comment extensively because talks were still ongoing with Iran in Almaty, Kazakhstan - involving the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

"There is a diplomatic path.  There is a clear way through this," he said. "And I want these talks to have their chance to work through before I comment further."

During a question and answer session with students at Berlin's Free University, Kerry alluded to U.S. President Barack Obama's visit next month to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.  But he tempered expectations ahead of that trip, saying he and the president intend to consult and listen to both sides.

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

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