United Nations (CNN) - The drama over whether President Barack Obama would shake hands with his Iranian counterpart detracted from what diplomats at the U.N. General Assembly described as an acute disappointment with his handling of Mideast turmoil.
A perceived lack of leadership in Syria during its civil war coupled with U.S. handling of the political crisis in Egypt has forced the Obama administration to confront a growing lack of confidence among Middle East allies.
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin can be trusted, but cautioned the United States will "just have to see what happens" over efforts to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons.
"You work for the best and prepare for the worst in this business. But I think it would be a terrible mistake not to take advantage of the opportunity," he told CNN's Piers Morgan at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York. "And, you know, look, Mr. Putin is very smart."
Updated 9 a.m. ET 9/19/2013
Washington (CNN) – Senator John McCain has a message for the Russian people: “I am pro-Russian, more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today.”
In an opinion piece titled “Russians Deserve Better Than Putin,” published by the Russian news website Pravda.ru, McCain took aim at the current Russian leadership, including President Vladimir Putin.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama believes Syria would be better off without its president, Bashar al-Assad, but said on Tuesday that removing his chemical weapons is the top priority and he remains focused on a diplomatic solution.
In an interview with Telemundo, Obama also said U.N. investigators have now "unequivocally said that chemical weapons were used" in Syria in August and "when you look at the details of the evidence they present, it is inconceivable that anybody other than the regime used it."
(CNN) – In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, former President Bill Clinton stood by the Obama administration's pursuit of a deal with Russia for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons.
On a separate topic, Clinton called Larry Summers "a friend" but did not directly answer whether he should have removed his name Sunday from consideration for the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve.
(CNN) – Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, appears to be pleased with the latest developments in the effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapons
The senator, who was outspoken about his strong hesitation to give President Barack Obama congressional authorization for unilateral strikes, credited the president with the latest turn toward diplomacy.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Sunday the threat of U.S. military force in Syria remains, despite a U.S.-Russian agreement to rid Syria of chemical weapons. But Sen. John McCain said the agreement is “meaningless.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced the agreement Saturday in Geneva, Switzerland.
Washington (CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich knocked President Barack Obama on foreign policy Sunday, saying the president is "leading from behind" in the United States-Russia negotiations over Syria's chemical weapons.
"Russian influence just increased in the Middle East dramatically. We are now relying on the Russians. We're now following from behind," said Gingrich, who's now a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire." "This is not a good long-term position."
Washington (CNN) – Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, argued Sunday that the United States lost all of its leverage in the negotiations over chemical weapons in Syria, giving Russia a win.
If Congress had moved more quickly and given the president authorization to strike Syria, things would look more favorable for the U.S., he said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama has responded to critics who disagree with his handling of the situation in Syria, saying he's more concerned about the end goal - no chemical weapons in Syria - than about "style points."
In an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Obama downplayed the controversy over Vladimir Putin's opinion piece in The New York Times last week, saying "this is not a Cold War" and that he welcomes the Russian president's involvement in the issue.