The Back Channel

Confusion over US presence at Astana Syria talks

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

A Russian invitation to the Trump transition team to send a representative to Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana Jan. 23 has caused confusion and revealed limited interactions between the incoming and outgoing US administrations.

Three days in March: New details on how US, Iran opened direct talks

Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Al-Monitor has learned that in the first few days of March, American officials secretly met with an Iranian delegation at a beach-side villa in Oman.

Kerry defends US vote on Israeli settlements

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

US Secretary of State John Kerry, in an impassioned speech Dec. 28, defended the US decision to abstain on a UN Security Council resolution criticizing Israeli settlements.

Obama administration, allies try to buy time for Iran nuclear deal

Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

In its final weeks, the Obama administration and its European allies are trying to convince the emerging Trump team that the deal is working.

What Exxon's Rex Tillerson might mean as secretary of state

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Democrats and some Republican lawmakers expressed concerns about the extensive business dealings in Russia of Trump’s nominee to be secretary of state, but several former diplomats said ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson brings significant global experience negotiating in complex environments.

US presidential transition adds turmoil to Syria diplomacy

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

As the Syrian regime makes rapid gains to retake rebel-held eastern Aleppo, renewed diplomatic efforts to try to broker a pause in the fighting remain uncertain.

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