Main headlines

January 14, 2014

Iraq's leader Al Maliki rejected Ban's calls for dialogue, saying: "We do not hold dialogue with Al Qaeda". (AFP)
08:05 GMT

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki to use dialogue to resolve the ongoing conflict in Anbar province, where Al Qaeda-affiliated militias overran the major cities last week.

A Shiite Muslim reads the Quran before starting an anti-government rally in 2012. According to recent reports, government forces have damaged a prominent Shiite shrine. (AFP/File)
07:41 GMT

Bahraini forces belonging to the Al Khalifa ruling family have vandalized the Shiite shrine of Sasaa Sohan al-Abdi, a companion of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

The attack on al-Bureij refugee camp were in retaliation to the rockets fired near Sharon's burial site. (AFP/File)
06:54 GMT

Israeli airstrikes hit the Al Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Monday, shortly after two Gazan rockets landed near the burial site of late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The White House has previously warned that Obama will veto any anti-Iran bill that Congress pushes through. (AFP)
06:45 GMT

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday called on Congress to give pursuing diplomatic relations with Tehran a chance as new sanctions on Iran were backed by Washington.

A picture taken on January 12, 2014, shows men trying to put out a fire in a buildings in the city of Daraya, southwest of the capital Damascus. [AFP]
05:52 GMT

Kuwait has entered a "distress call to citizens" in efforts to organize a national campaign to support Syrian relief efforts.

Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud [AFP]
05:20 GMT

The Council of Ministers, chaired by Crown Prince Salman, has rejected the Israeli settlement plan to construct in the West Bank claiming it would end all peace efforts.

A man carries a box full of voting ballots near Egyptian soldiers standing guard outside a school that will be used as a polling station on January 13, 2014 in Cairo. [AFP]
05:11 GMT

The poll is seen by many as a referendum on Mohamed Morsi's ouster and support for army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, to include his possible run for president in the future.

January 13, 2014

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to lay a wreath during the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on January 13, 2014 at the family ranch Havat Shikmin, near the Israeli city of Sderot in the southern Negev desert. (AFP)
21:38 GMT

Gaza militants on Monday fired two rockets which hit near the family farm where former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was buried earlier that day.

A Palestinian supporter of the Islamic Jihad distributes sweets in a street of the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis as a boy holds a poster bearing a portrait of former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon. (AFP)
18:56 GMT

Israel's transport minister Yisrael Katz said Monday that Palestinian Authority official Jibril Rajoub, who branded the late Ariel Sharon a war criminal over his role in the Sabra and Shatila massacres, was a "subhuman with blood on his hands".

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that it is imperative for all parties involved in the Syrian conflict to pursue a political solution to the conflict. (AFP/File)
18:41 GMT

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday that pursuing diplomacy and a political solution is the only way to end the sprawling, nearly three-year-old Syrian civil war despite the difficulty of the upcoming Geneva talks.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari (R) greets United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at Baghdad airport on January 13, 2014, upon the latter's arrival for a two-day visit to Iraq. (AFP)
18:32 GMT

The U.N. security council has called on Iraqi tribes and local communities in the restive Anbar province to help the government in the fight against Al Qaeda.

Russia's Lavrov told reporters Tuesday that Iran and Saudi Arabia should take part in the upcoming Syrian peace talks scheduled for next week (Alain Jocard/AFP)
14:30 GMT

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Paris Monday to discuss a ceasefire plan for Syria.

Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai Mohamed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. [AFP]
12:58 GMT

VP and Prime Minster of the UAE is hopeful that Minister of Defence General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi continues his role as head of the army thus refraining from any presidential run.

An Egyptian woman living in Oman casts her vote on a divisive draft constitution in Egypt at the Egyptian embassy in the Gulf sultanate's capital Muscat on January 8, 2014. [AFP]
12:07 GMT

Egyptian expatriates began casting their ballots on the draft of the new constitution in 161 countries last week and most are voting "yes".

Mohammad Javad Zarif is due in Amman on Tuesday, the Jordanian foreign ministry said. (AFP/File)
10:49 GMT

Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, will visit Amman this week for talks regarding bilateral ties and regional developments.