Middle East News

  • Germany, European Commission mull solidarity tax for refugees: paper

    The German government and European Commission are holding informal talks about a type of European solidarity tax to help cover the costs of stemming a record-breaking influx of asylum seekers, a German newspaper reported on Saturday. The money could be raised through a surcharge on petroleum tax…

    Reuters58 mins ago
  • Netanyahu offered vague terms for West Bank withdrawal: former U.S. negotiator

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United States five years ago that Israel could withdraw from most of the West Bank if his country’s security needs were met, former U.S. Middle East peace negotiator Dennis Ross recounts in a book to be published next week. Prodded by U.S. Secretary of…

  • AP Exclusive: Saudi crush was deadliest hajj tragedy ever

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — One survivor of last month's crush and stampede at the hajj in Saudi Arabia recalled seeing so many bodies that he couldn't tell how many there were.

    Associated Press
  • UN backs EU military action against migrant smugglers

    The UN Security Council on Friday approved a European military operation to seize and destroy boats used by migrant smugglers in the Mediterranean after thousands died in dangerous crossings. European warships on Wednesday launched Operation Sophia to seize traffickers' boats in international…

  • Tunisia activists win Nobel Peace Prize in boost to fledgling democracy

    Tunisian civil society groups won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for helping rescue the only democracy that emerged from the Arab Spring, in a hugely symbolic show of support for the country after a wave of jihadist attacks.

  • The Latest: Obama praises Nobel Peace Prize choice

    OSLO, Norway (AP) — The latest developments in the awarding of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. All times local.

    Associated Press
  • Nobel Peace Prize boosts struggling Tunisian democracy

    TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — It was the fall of 2013 and Tunisia's newfound democracy was in grave danger. The assassination of a left-wing politician had prompted the opposition to walk out of the constitutional assembly. The government was paralyzed, the constitution unfinished and the country on the…

    Associated Press
  • Kremlin turns opinion over Syria with U.S.-style 'shock and awe' media blitz

    By Andrew Osborn MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his circle have spent years criticizing what they said was Washington's calamitous 2003 military intervention in Iraq and its pernicious habit of meddling in the Middle East. In Russia, Moscow's Syria intervention is being…

  • Russia turns to backwater navy for Syria missile strikes

    By Jack Stubbs MOSCOW (Reuters) - The sailors of Russia's Caspian fleet have seen little action over the last 300 years but now the war raging in Syria has thrust them into the forefront of Russia's largest military operation abroad since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Better known for oil…

  • Israel, Iran trade barbs at U.N. disarmament panel meeting

    By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Israel and Iran exchanged sharp criticisms at a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly's disarmament committee on Friday, accusing each other of being a major destabilizing force in the Middle East. Iran says its nuclear program is purely for civilian…

  • Italy sends Eritreans to Sweden to seek asylum under EU plan

    By Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - Italy sent a first group of Eritrean asylum seekers to Sweden on Friday as part of a European Union relocation plan aimed at easing the burden on border states amid the continent's biggest migration crisis since World War Two. The 19 men and women who made a…

  • PKK leader says ready for new Turkey ceasefire

    The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is ready for a new ceasefire with the Turkish authorities despite almost three months of deadly violence, one of its leaders told AFP in an interview at its stronghold in northern Iraq. The PKK, which since 1984 has waged an armed struggle for autonomy and greater…

  • Tunisia shows dialogue with Islamists possible: Nobel panel head

    Tunisia's democratic transition, guided by a coalition of civil society groups that won Friday's Nobel Peace Prize, proves that political compromise between secular and Islamist groups can result in meaningful democracy, the committee head said. Speaking to AFP in an interview shortly after the…

  • Central bank says Malaysian fund broke forex rules, must pay

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's central bank said Friday a debt-laden state investment fund violated foreign exchange rules and must repatriate $1.83 billion it used abroad.

    Associated Press
  • Associated Press
  • Tunisia Nobel winners 'show way out of regional crises': EU

    The EU hailed Tunisia's national dialogue mediators Friday after they won the Nobel Peace Prize, saying they had shown North Africa and Middle East a democratic path out of turmoil. "The Nobel Peace Prize to the National Dialogue Quartet in Tunisia shows the way out of the crises in the region:…

  • Australia, Philippines negotiating asylum seeker transfer deal

    By Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia is negotiating a deal with the Philippines to transfer asylum seekers being held indefinitely in controversial detention centers on remote, impoverished islands, Australia's immigration minister said on Friday. Australia struck a deal last year with…