Posts tagged ‘Diplomacy’

2011/02/22

US Official Arrested In Pakistan Is CIA

An American jailed in Pakistan for the fatal shooting of two armed men was secretly working for the CIA and scouting a neighborhood when he was arrested, a disclosure that is likely to further frustrate US efforts to free the man and strain relations between the US and Pakistan.

Raymond Davis, 36, had been working as a CIA security contractor and living in a Lahore safe house. Davis shot the men in what he described as an attempted armed robbery as they approached him on a motorcycle. A third Pakistani, a bystander, died when a car rushing to help Davis struck him. Davis was carrying a Glock handgun, a pocket telescope and papers with different identifications.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration insisted anew Monday that Davis had diplomatic immunity and must be set free.

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2011/02/19

Obama’s Secret Talks With The Taliban

U.S.-Taliban Talks
by Steve Coll

On August 22, 1998, Mullah Omar, the emir of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, made a cold call to the State Department. The United States had just lobbed cruise missiles at Al Qaeda camps in his nation. Omar got a mid-level diplomat on the line and spoke calmly. He suggested that Congress force President Bill Clinton to resign. He said that American military strikes “would be counter-productive,” and would “spark more, not less, terrorist attacks,” according to a declassified record of the call. “Omar emphasized that this was his best advice,” the record adds.

That was the first and last time that Omar spoke to an American government official, as far as is known. Before September 11th, some of his deputies had occasionally spoken with U.S. diplomats, but afterward the United States rejected direct talks with Taliban leaders, on the ground that they were as much to blame for terrorism as Al Qaeda was. Last year, however, as the U.S.-led Afghan ground war passed its ninth anniversary, and Mullah Omar remained in hiding, presumably in Pakistan, a small number of officials in the Obama Administration—among them the late Richard Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan—argued that it was time to try talking to the Taliban again.

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2011/02/10

White House Rift With Hillary Clinton

The White House and the State Department have been sending out different messages over the past few days regarding the U.S. position on Egypt. The seeming disparity between the focus and tone of remarks by officials from each part of the government has the Washington community wondering if there’s a rift between Pennsylvania Avenue and Foggy Bottom and who’s really in charge.

Internal disagreements on how closely to align the United States with Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman and his self-interested reform process emerged into public view last weekend, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Munich Security Conference that the U.S. is calling on the international community to support the process initiated by Suleiman. Clinton also had to distance herself from the comments of the State Department’s chosen “envoy” Frank Wisner, who called for Mubarak to stay in power when he spoke at the conference in Munich.

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2011/02/09

Tunisia: Another Black Eye For France

As the crisis unfolded in its former colony, Paris was caught entirely off guard, recalling recent stumbles in Haiti and Ivory Coast.

Whither now French diplomacy? A week after Tunisian President Zine el Abidine ben Ali fled into exile, France has acknowledged being caught off guard by the protest movement that led to the ouster of an autocratic ruler it had supported for 23 years.

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2011/02/06

China ‘Ready To Abandon North Korea’


Ed. Note: Although this was made public via WikiLeaks several months ago, it received scant coverage in the US media.

Guardian

China has signaled its readiness to accept Korean reunification and is privately distancing itself from the North Korean regime, according to leaked US embassy cables that reveal senior Beijing figures regard their official ally as a “spoiled child.”

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2011/02/05

WikiLeaks: US Gave UK Secrets To Russia

Telegraph

Information about every Trident missile the US supplies to Britain will be given to Russia as part of an arms control deal signed by President Barack Obama next week.

Defense analysts claim the agreement risks undermining Britain’s policy of refusing to confirm the exact size of its nuclear arsenal.

The fact that the Americans used British nuclear secrets as a bargaining chip also sheds new light on the so-called “special relationship,” which is shown often to be a one-sided affair by US diplomatic communications obtained by the WikiLeaks website.

Details of the behind-the-scenes talks are contained in more than 1,400 US embassy cables published to date by the Telegraph, including almost 800 sent from the London Embassy, which are published online today. The documents also show that:

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