The body language said it all. Petro Poroshenko, grim and exhausted, leaned forward imploringly; Vladimir Putin, benevolent and relaxed, smiled a cryptic smile.
The photographs the marathon talks between the leaders of Ukraine and Russia demonstrated which of the two enemies has most cause for confidence about the deal that emerged in Minsk.
In fairness, Mr Poroshenko did not go like a defenceless lamb into the conference chamber. The last Minsk agreement was negotiated directly between Russia and Ukraine, causing Mr Poroshenko’s youthful and stridently nationalistic prime minister to observe: “They will outplay us: that’s what they expect.” Continue reading
Netanyahu went on to say that Israel had a more narrow timetable than Washington, implying it may have to take unilateral action to halt Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
“Our clocks are ticking at a different pace. We’re closer than the United States. We’re more vulnerable. And therefore, we’ll have to address this question of how to stop Iran, perhaps before the United States does,” he said. Continue reading
JERUSALEM — U.S. President Barack Obama has demanded a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.
Israeli sources said Obama, scheduled to arrive in Israel on March 20, wants a detailed Israeli withdrawal plan from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the president’s visit. The sources said the Israeli plan would be considered in what could be an imminent U.S. initiative to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank in 2014.
“Obama has made it clear to Netanyahu that his visit is not about photo-ops, but the business of Iran and a Palestinian state,” a source said. “The implication is that if Israel won’t give him something he can work with, then he’ll act on his own.” Continue reading