September 23, 2013 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif are expected to meet Thursday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. It's the highest-level meeting between the two countries in six years.
September 13, 2013 Although a Free Syrian Army commander has said his fighters haven't yet gotten any "lethal aid" from the U.S., sources tell NPR that some small arms are being delivered to "moderate" rebels. Meanwhile, U.S. and Russian diplomats report progress in their discussions.
September 12, 2013 Russia is "playing games. ... They know that the regime in Damascus is a criminal regime," Gen. Salim Idris tells NPR. Many Syrians, he says, "can't understand why the Russians and Iranians are supporting the [Assad] regime" and why "our friends are delaying" in coming to the opposition's aid.
September 11, 2013 The U.S. secretary of state will be in Geneva on Thursday to meet with his Russian counterpart. Russia's proposal that the Assad regime hand over its chemical weapons may provide a diplomatic way of resolving the crisis. But the U.S. has said Assad can't use it as a delaying tactic.
September 9, 2013 Russia's foreign minister says he has told his Syrian counterpart that one way to head off a U.S. strike could be to hand over control of those weapons to international watchdogs. The Assad regime has reportedly welcomed the suggestion. The White House says any turnover has to be verifiable.
September 4, 2013 Administration officials continue to push for Congressional support of strikes on Syria. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is adding to the number of targets inside Syria that could be struck. They include warplanes, attack helicopters and missile sites. If they're destroyed, Assad's regime could be weakened.
July 30, 2013 A White House official called it a "quick check-in." Media reports say the president reminded negotiators to exhibit good will.
July 19, 2013 The details have not been finalized, but the sides appear close to resuming full-fledged negotiations after years of stalemate.
July 9, 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry's wife suffered "seizure-like symptoms" over the weekend. Doctors have ruled out heart attack, stroke, or a brain tumor, the State Department says. Heinz Kerry is 74.
June 30, 2013 "With a little more work, the start of final status negotiations could be within reach," the secretary of state said Sunday after four days of shuttle diplomacy. He met with Israeli and Palestinian officials.
May 13, 2013 A plan for U.S.-Russian peace conference marks a major step, the prime minister tells NPR. He believes that while Russian President Vladimir Putin still differs with the West over what to do about Syrian President Bashar Assad, there is agreement about the need for a peaceful transition.
April 12, 2013 While condemning North Korea's recent rhetoric as "unacceptable," the secretary of state also said the U.S. wants to talk — if the North is serious about discussing denuclearization.
April 7, 2013 The war became much more personal for the U.S. Embassy and most of the journalists in Afghanistan when word came out that one of the five Americans killed by a suicide bomber in Zabul province on Saturday was 25-year-old Anne Smedinghoff. NPR's Sean Carberry says her death reminds the American community in Afghanistan of their bonds with one another.
March 26, 2013 As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry continued working on the security transition, suspected suicide attacks in two locations underscored the challenges that remain. He also engaged in a little soccer diplomacy.