Middle East News

  • 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…

    Reuters18 mins ago
  • 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…

    Reuters18 mins ago
  • AP Exclusive: Saudi hajj crush was deadliest 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 Press20 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…

    Reuters28 mins ago
  • 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…

    Reuters31 mins ago
  • 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 prize was awarded nearly five years after a desperate Tunisian…

    AFP33 mins ago
  • 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 Press37 mins ago
  • 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…

    Reuters46 mins ago
  • 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…

    AFP48 mins ago
  • U.S. changes tack on support to Syria rebels after failed training push

    By Phil Stewart and Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - The United States announced on Friday it would overhaul its failed efforts to support moderate Syrian rebels battling Islamic State, saying it would provide arms and equipment to vetted rebel leaders and their units. The U.S. announcement marked…

  • 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
  • AP Photos: Portraits of refugees along Europe migrant trail

    Shortly after a dinghy overloaded with refugees from Syria and Iraq reached the Greek island of Lesbos, Mahmoud Naoura stood and raised his hands, chanting "Thank you God, we are safe."

    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…

  • New tally in Saudi hajj disaster shows at least 1,399 killed

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The crush and stampede last month outside of Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca killed at least 1,399 people during the hajj pilgrimage, a new tally Thursday showed, 630 more than the kingdom's official toll.

    Associated Press
  • U.N.'s Ban rejects calls to keep refugee chief amid crisis

    By Louis Charbonneau and Tom Miles UNITED NATIONS/GENEVA (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has disregarded a request from a large number of member states to keep the U.N. high commissioner for refugees in his job for an extra year to cope with the worsening refugee crisis, diplomats…

  • Refugee crisis shows reality of globalization, says Germany's Schaeuble

    The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees into Europe is part of the reality of globalization, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Thursday. German authorities are struggling to cope with the roughly 10,000 refugees arriving every day, many fleeing conflict in the Middle East.…