Main headlines

January 7, 2014

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal speaks to reporters during a visit to Pakistan on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2014. [AFP]
17:39 GMT

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal demanded on Tuesday that the opposition Syrian National Coalition be the only legitimate umbrella of the Syrian opposition, ahead of the planned Geneva II peace talks.

A handout picture taken on January 5, 2014, and released by Norwegian Armed Forces, the Danish support vessel L17 "Esbern Snare" [AFP]
16:58 GMT

The Syrian regime has moved the first shipment of chemical material out of the country after transporting it from two sites to the port city of Latakia and onto a Danish vessel, the joint mission overseeing the disarmament said Tuesday.

Syrian rebels have clashed with Al Qaeda-linked opposition in Idlib and Aleppo in particular (File Archive/AFP)
14:34 GMT

Regime-led air strikes killed 10 civilians in northern Syria Tuesday and at least 34 Al Qaeda linked fighters have died in Idlib over the past three days.

Abbas publicly expressed hope that the U.S.-led negotiations will lead to peace between Palestine and Israel. (AFP/File)
14:05 GMT

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he and his government are "exerting every effort possible" to reach a peace agreement with Israel.

Although the U.N. has stopped updating its Syria death toll, the number of civilians dying has not stopped. It has now exceeded 130,000, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (AFP/File)
11:10 GMT

According to a U.N. human rights official, the organization will not be updating the death toll in the Syrian civil war as it is becoming increasingly more difficult to verify facts on the war-torn ground.

Erdogan's government has been hit hard by serious corruption charges and dissatisfaction with the leadership is widespread. (AFP/File)
10:21 GMT

In a recent crackdown on corruption engulfing the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 350 police officers in Ankara - including top level officials - have been fired.

Hezbollah soldiers have been supporting regime fighters within Syria. One of Hezbollah's Lebanese commanders was recently killed in a battle near Damascus (AFP)
10:10 GMT

Hezbollah pledged this week that it will not end its support for the government of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

Edward Snowden has got secrets pertaining to Israel and the Middle East up his sleeve, Glenn Greenwald says. (AFP/File)
09:57 GMT

Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden is poised to reveal secrets that relate to Israel and the Middle East, according to a close journalist friend of the ex-NSA employee.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has called for a Syrian future without Assad. (AFP/File)
08:44 GMT

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the upcoming U.N. hosted peace conference in Geneva must work to eliminate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from Syria's future, because he is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians.

Iranian foreign spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said last week that Tehran was worried over the escalating violence in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, since the ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July. (AFP/File)
07:18 GMT

Egypt has summoned the Iranian charge d'affaires in Cairo over recent comments Tehran made on the escalating violence in Egypt, where it voiced concern over the crackdown on pro-Mohamed Morsi protesters.

Jack Straw, the former British Foreign Secretary, has spearheaded the UK's recent revival of diplomatic relations with Iran. (AFP/File)
06:51 GMT

Jack Straw, former British Foreign Secretary, will hold a press conference in Tehran on Wednesday during his visit to Iran, where he is heading a parliamentary delegation.

Iraqi soldiers stand along a road close to their vehicle in the area of Ein Tamer which leads west out of the central Iraqi Shiite Muslim shrine city of Karbala towards the mainly Sunni Muslim city of Fallujah. The U.S. has stepped up military aid to the restive country. (AFP)
06:31 GMT

The White House on Monday said that although fighting insurgents is not a job the U.S. can help Iraq with, it has sped up the delivery of military equipment to the violence-torn country.

Iyad Allawi asked Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to stop targeting Arab tribes in Anbar. [AFP]
04:00 GMT

Former Iraqi interim prime minister and head of Iraqya political bloc Iyad Allawi on Monday blasted current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as leading Iraq to “disaster” with “exclusionary” policies against the country’s Muslim Sunni population.

January 6, 2014

Tunisia’s constitutional assembly prepares to select a new committee to oversee elections after its work weekend was disrupted. [AFP]
15:50 GMT

Tunisia’s constitutional assembly prepares to select a new committee to oversee elections after its work weekend was disrupted by death threats against one of its members.

[Ma'an]
15:35 GMT

Hamas and Fatah have secretly resumed reconciliation talks in an attempt to finalize an agreement, a Fatah spokesman said on Monday.