Main headlines

January 14, 2014

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.

Egyptian forces have been seeking to oust militants from the Sinai peninsula since Morsi left office in July. (AFP/File)
10:25 GMT

Two suspected militants were killed in an explosion near the Sinai city of Sheikh Zuweid on Monday, Egyptian security officials said.

Thousands of expats were deported in 2013 yet local Saudis have been unable to fill their roles. [riyadhconnect]
10:05 GMT

After thousands of expats were deported from Saudi, the country is still working to fill the void left in their place.

Palestinian children carry a fake coffin as they take part in a sit-in on January 4, 2014 in Gaza city in solidarity with Palestinian children at Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria. (AFP)
09:12 GMT

Palestinian officials said Monday that efforts to break the Syrian siege on the Yarmouk refugee camp, where conditions are rapidly deteriorating due to a lack of basic supplies and medicines, had failed.