New Start won't keep Russia from developing Bulava missiles – deputy PM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Feb 6 (KATAKAMI.COM) — The New START arms reduction treaty will not shift Russia’s plans to continue developing Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and Yars RS-24 missiles, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exchanged the instruments of ratification for the New START arms reduction treaty and the document came into effect.

“This treaty does not envision any duties on Russia except for one: to observe the limits stated in the treaty,” Ivanov said.

“The plans we had to develop the strategic component of the armed forces remain in force, this concerns Bulava and Yars,” Ivanov said.

Ivanov emphasized that not only Russia and the United States, but all of the countries which develop and have nuclear arms should hold talks aimed at reducing strategic nuclear arsenals.  (*)

Source : RIA NOVOSTI

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Lavrov, Clinton to bring New START into force on February 5

Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton. Archive

Feb 02 (KATAKAMI.COM / RIA NOVOSTI) —Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will exchange the instruments of ratification for the New START arms reduction pact in Munich on February 5, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

The U.S. State Department confirmed February 5 as the date for the exchange, after which the pact will enter into force.

The new deal, replacing START 1, which expired in December 2009, was signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama in Prague in April 2010. The document cuts the Russian and U.S. strategic nuclear arsenals to a maximum of 1,550 warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.

“The document lays the foundation for qualitatively new relations between Russia and the United States in the military-strategic sphere, and contributes to a transition to a higher level of bilateral interaction in the spheres of disarmament and nonproliferation, as well as in strengthening mutual and global security,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The U.S. Senate ratified the deal on December 22, 2010, but added several amendments to the resolution on ratification, including a demand to build up U.S. global missile defenses.

Medvedev signed the ratification documents on Friday after both houses of the Russian parliament ratified the new treaty adding some provisions to the ratification document and issuing two supplementary statements to the resolution on the treaty ratification.

Clinton and Lavrov will be in the German city for the 47th Munich Security Conference, to be held February 4-6. The annual gathering brings together senior figures from around the world to engage in intensive debate on current and future security challenges.  (*)

Clinton to discuss reconstruction, election standoff in Haiti

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with Haitian leaders to discuss the disputed election

Jan 30 (KATAKAMI.COM / CNN) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Haiti on Sunday to discuss the nation’s reconstruction efforts and the disputed November polls with top officials.

Clinton will meet with Haitian President Rene Preval, other political leaders and electoral candidates. She also plans to visit a cholera treatment clinic.

Haiti’s political crisis will not be resolved until well into spring as the nation’s election panel announced a timetable for a runoff and subsequent vote tally.

Electoral officials will this week announce the long-awaited results of the disputed presidential vote, with a runoff scheduled for March 20.

Final results will not be known until April 16.

Attempts to resolve the political turmoil came as the toll in the nation’s cholera outbreak surged past 4,000, the public health ministry said.

More than 200,000 people have been sickened and 4,030 have died as of January 24, according to the latest report posted by the ministry.

Haiti, which was struck by a massive earthquake a year ago, has been struggling to recover. Its troubles were compounded first by cholera and then by the November 28 presidential elections that became mired in controversy.

In early December, the electoral council announced that former first lady Mirlande Manigat had won but lacked a majority of votes for an outright victory.

Initial results put her in a runoff with Jude Celestin, a protege of the president.

The third-place candidate, popular musician Michel Martelly, claimed he had won more votes than Celestin and a review of results by an Organization of American States team supported that contention. That review suggested that Martelly earned a spot in the runoff.

It’s unclear whether Preval’s ruling Inite (Unity) party plans to withdraw its support of Celestin in light of the election review.

Discontent with Preval and his government manifested itself on the streets of Haiti after the preliminary results were announced. Haitians charged vote fraud and burned cars, tires and Celestin’s campaign headquarters in Port-au-Prince.

The electoral council said it will announce the final results of the first round on Wednesday.  (*)

Clinton Voices U.S. Support of Mexico in Trip

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks alongside Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa during a joint press conference at the Alhondiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato, Mexico, January 24, 2011. Clinton traveled to Mexico on a one-day trip for meetings on border security and drug trafficking. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

GUANAJUATO, Mexico, Jan 25 (KATAKAMI.COM / NY Times) — More than a month after the disclosure ofcables in which American diplomats questioned progress in Mexico’s drug war, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton came here on Monday to deliver a message of solidarity with President Felipe Calderón and to rebut public doubts about persistent violence.

After a private meeting with the Mexican foreign secretary, Patricia Espinosa, in this historic, pastel-splashed colonial city, Mrs. Clinton declined during a news conference to directly address the cables, published by several news organization after they were revealed by WikiLeaks.

The cables, written by American diplomats in Mexico, said that the country suffered from squabbling and mistrust among agencies, intelligence missteps, and a less than complete dedication to the rule of law. Among the results, according to the cables, is that criminals are not prosecuted or prosecutions are delayed. In one of the cables, a Mexican government official raised the fear that some territory was falling under the control of organized crime groups.

But Mrs. Clinton said that the United States supported Mr. Calderón’s resolve to dismantle major organized crime groups, even if “it is not easy.”

The grisly nature of the violence, including the beheading of drug-gang rivals, shocks and worries the public on both sides of the border, she said.

The Mexican government’s crackdown, begun in December 2006, along with fighting among the gangs for control of smuggling and other criminal enterprises, has killed 34,600 people in the past four years, the government said this month, including 15,273 people last year alone.

Drug traffickers are not going to give up without a terrible fight, and when they do barbaric things like behead people, it is meant to intimidate,” Mrs. Clinton said, before touring a historic theater and meeting with Mr. Calderón in Mexico City. “It is meant to have the public say just leave them alone, but a president cannot do that.”

Mrs. Clinton, nodding to sensitivities here, took pains to concede the United States’ role in providing guns and money to Mexico’s gangs, calling them transnational.

In her first visit since she compared Mexico’s battle to an insurgency, in remarks in September that drew the ire of Mr. Calderón, Mrs. Clinton made a friendlier comparison this time.

“There was a time 20, 30 years ago people thought New York was going to be lost to gangs and drugs and crime, and innocent people couldn’t walk down the street,” she said. “They couldn’t take their children to a park. And through hard work by law enforcement and a lot of support and a lot of reforms we’ve seen a lot of change.”

Aides to both secretaries said the visit, to a city that has experienced little drug war violence, originated with an invitation from Ms. Espinosa for a catching-up session over a number of issues.

Ms. Espinosa told reporters that she hoped Mrs. Clinton’s visit, her first since last March, would also help show another, quieter face of Mexico.

Mrs. Clinton spoke in a museum that commemorates a bloody revolt against Spanish loyalists at the beginning of Mexico’s war of independence in 1810.

It shares something with today’s headlines. The heads of four insurgents were hung here during the war of independence.  (*)

Clinton Supports Mexico in Drug War

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures during a news conference in Guanajuato January 24, 2011. Clinton travelled to Mexico on a one-day trip for meetings on border security and drug trafficking. REUTERS/Mario Armas

Jan 25 (KATAKAMI.COM / VOA) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging Mexico to persist in its war against drug cartels, saying there is no alternative to confronting them head-on.

Secretary Clinton made the comment Monday as she met in the Mexican city of Guanajuato with Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa and gave strong support for President Felipe Calderon’s crackdown on drug gangs. Clinton was quoted as saying that what President Calderon has done is absolutely necessary and that the drug traffickers are not going to give up without a fight.

The U.S. secretary of state also pointed to the killing or capture of about two dozen high-level traffickers as a sign of the Mexican president’s progress.

The talks took place ahead a scheduled meeting in Mexico City later Monday between Secretary Clinton and Mr. Calderon.

Mexico is one of several nations involved in the Merida Initiative, a U.S. program that provides equipment, training and technical assistance to law enforcement operations in neighboring countries to help them fight crime. In 2008, Congress approved $400 million in program funding for Mexico and $65 million for Central America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Drug-related violence has surged in Mexico in recent years. The violence has left 34,000 people dead since President Calderon took office in late 2006 and began a crackdown on the cartels.  (*)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Meet with Mexican Counterpart

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Jan 24 ( KATAKAMI.COM / VOA) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Mexico to discuss a range of bilateral issues with the country’s foreign secretary.

The U.S. State Department says Clinton will meet Monday with her Mexican counterpart, Patricia Espinosa, in the city of Guanajuato.

The talks are expected to cover cooperating on combating crime, strengthening the competitiveness of both economies and modernizing the common border.

The diplomats are also expected to discuss climate change.

The visit comes as drug violence continues to plague Mexico, including areas along the border with the U.S.  (*)

Photostream : Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez meets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (L), Chilean President Sebastian Pinera (2nd R) and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, during a reception for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Planalto Palace in Brasilia January 1, 2011. Rousseff is the first woman to become Brazil's president, taking the reins of an emerging giant with a booming economy, vast new oil reserves and growing international diplomatic clout. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, second left, shakes hands with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, right, next to Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, left, and Chile's President Sebastian Pinera during the inauguration ceremony of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, unseen, at the Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (L), Chilean President Sebastian Pinera (2nd R) and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, during a reception for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Planalto Palace in Brasilia January 1, 2011. Rousseff is the first woman to become Brazil's president, taking the reins of an emerging giant with a booming economy, vast new oil reserves and growing international diplomatic clout. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, speaks with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez during the swearing-in ceremony of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, unseen, at the Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011. The man at center is unidentified. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Clinton calls leaked documents attack on world

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pauses during a bilateral meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, at the State Department in Washington. Bristling over the unauthorized release of more than a quarter million classified State Department documents, the Obama White House on Monday ordered a government-wide review of how agencies safeguard sensitive information (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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November 29, 2010 WASHINGTON (KATAKAMI / AP) – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the leak of hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic documents is an attack not only on the United States but also the international community.

In her first public comments since the weekend release of the classified State Department cables, Clinton said Monday that online whistleblower Wikileaks acted illegally in posting the material. She said the Obama administration was “aggressively pursuing” those responsible for the leak.

She said the leaks erode trust between nations. But Clinton also said she was “confident” that U.S. partnerships would withstand the challenges posed by the latest revelations. (*)

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