Middle East News

  • Czech PM says ready to protect Balkan borders in migrant crisis

    By Jan Lopatka PRAGUE (Reuters) - Central European leaders are ready to help Balkan countries seal their borders with Greece to stem the flow of migrants across the continent, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told Reuters on Sunday. Despite objections from regional powerhouse Germany, which…

    Reuters
  • Bahrain on path to recovery five years after revolt, says police chief

    By Sami Aboudi MANAMA (Reuters) - Bahrain's police chief said the Gulf state was slowly returning to stability five years after a 2011 uprising was put down by force, but still faced security threats from Iran-backed elements and militants linked to Islamic State. Speaking ahead of the fifth…

    Reuters
  • Saudi troop deployment in Syria up to U.S.-led coalition: foreign minister

    Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that any move to deploy Saudi special forces into Syria would depend on a decision by the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State insurgents. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday he expected both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to send special…

    Reuters
  • Unknown dead fill Lesbos cemetery for refugees drowned at sea

    By Karolina Tagaris LESBOS, Greece (Reuters) - She drowned trying to reach Europe, but her headless body was never identified. Just 27 of those are named.     The others state plainly: "Unknown Man, Aged 35, No 221, 19/11/2015;" "Unknown Boy, Aged 7, No 40, 19/11/2015;" "Unknown Boy, Aged 12, No…

    Reuters
  • Syrian opposition figure slams Russia for continued bombing

    MUNICH (AP) — A top Syrian opposition figure criticized Russia on Sunday for continuing with its bombing in Syria, insisting that people in the country need to see action rather than words.

    Associated Press
  • EU's elder statesmen to Britain: 'Don't leave us now'

    By Paul Taylor BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Elder statesmen who built and shaped the European Union have a clear message for Britain as it prepares for a referendum on whether to stay in the bloc: "We love you. Don't leave us now." Valery Giscard d'Estaing, father of the European Monetary System that…

    Reuters
  • French PM rejects permanent quota system for refugees

    By Andreas Rinke and Tatiana Jancarikova MUNICH/BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - French Prime Minister Manuel Valls rejected on Saturday the idea of a permanent quota system for distributing refugees across Europe, putting Paris at odds with Germany ahead of a summit to discuss the EU crisis over migration.…

    Reuters
  • After 1,000-year split, pope and Russian patriarch embrace in Cuba

    By Philip Pullella and Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill embraced and kissed on Friday in a historic meeting, uniting to issue a global appeal for the protection of Christians under assault in the Middle East. Nearly 1,000 years after the Eastern…

    Reuters
  • Russia keeps bombing despite Syria truce; Assad vows to fight on

    By John Irish and Warren Strobel MUNICH/AMMAN (Reuters) - Major powers agreed on Friday to a pause in combat in Syria, but Russia pressed on with bombing in support of its ally President Bashar al-Assad, who vowed to fight until he regained full control of the country. Although billed as a…

    Reuters
  • Historic pope-patriarch declaration: key points

    Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Friday held the first meeting in nearly a millennium between heads of their two branches of the Christian church. "Attempts to justify criminal acts with religious slogans are altogether unacceptable.

    AFP
  • Pope, Russian Orthodox chief say Christians being 'exterminated'

    HAVANA (Reuters) - Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Friday called on the international community to protect Christians under assault in the Middle East in apparent reference to violence by the militant group Islamic State. "In many countries of the Middle East and North Africa…

    Reuters
  • Bahrain at impasse five years after failed uprising

    Five years after Sunni-ruled Bahrain crushed a popular uprising by the Shiite majority, the kingdom is locked in a political impasse exacerbated by an economic crisis, analysts say. "Hopes for progress on human rights and accountability for past and present abuses have faded," Amnesty…

    AFP
  • Israel says freeze on EU peace role is over

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the EU foreign policy chief held talks Friday, in effect ending a freeze on talks with the bloc on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the foreign ministry said. Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told journalists that the EU's Federica Mogherini said the…

    AFP
  • Iran says ready to put rivalries aside with Saudi Arabia

    By Robin Emmott and Noah Barkin MUNICH (Reuters) - Iran and Saudi Arabia must overcome strained relations and work for stability in Syria and the Middle East, Iran's foreign minister said on Friday, a day after Syrian peace talks brought the rivals to the same table for the first time in months. …

    Reuters
  • Transcript of exclusive AFP interview with Syria's Assad

    Damascus (AFP) - In the following AFP interview with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, the questions were asked in French and he replied in Arabic.

    AFP
  • AFP EXCLUSIVE: Assad vows to retake Syria, amid new ceasefire push

    Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to retake the entire country but warned it could take a "long time," in an exclusive interview with AFP as international pressure grows for a ceasefire. Speaking at his office in Damascus, hours before a new ceasefire plan was announced early Friday by…

    AFP
  • Plans to move up to 1,000 from French migrant camp

    Local French government authorities said Friday they want to move up to 1,000 migrants living in the notorious "Jungle" camp in the port town of Calais. The presence of thousands of migrants in the camp who are desperately trying to reach Britain has become a political hot potato both within…

    AFP