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Middle East News

  • Obama leading delegation of US dignitaries to Saudi Arabia

    NEW DELHI (AP) — President Barack Obama was leading a bipartisan delegation of lawmakers, senior U.S. officials and two former secretaries of state to Saudi Arabia Tuesday to pay respects to the royal family following King Abdullah's death.

    Associated Press53 mins ago
  • Japan special envoy hopeful about release of hostage, pilot

    TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese envoy in Jordan expressed hope that both Japanese hostage Kenji Goto and a Jordanian pilot held by Islamic militants will return home "with a smile on their faces," as questions rose Tuesday over the government's handling of the crisis.

    Associated Press
  • 516 'Brotherhood elements' arrested on Egypt anniversary

    More than 500 backers of Egypt's blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood were arrested as clashes erupted on the anniversary of its 2011 uprising, a minister said Monday, in the biggest police sweep for months. Twenty people, mostly demonstrators, were killed Sunday when protesters clashed with security…

    AFP
  • Quartet envoys urge action on humanitarian situation in Gaza

    Envoys from the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators said on Monday it was urgent to improve the "dire humanitarian situation" in Gaza, heavily damaged in last year's war between Israel and Palestinian militants. Envoys from the Quartet - the United Nations, the United States, the European Union…

    Reuters
  • Egypt court convicts doctor of female genital mutilation

    CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian appeals court on Monday convicted a doctor of manslaughter and performing female genital mutilation that led to the death of a 13-year-old girl, sentencing him to two years and three months in prison in the country's first case that came to trial over the widespread…

    Associated Press
  • Saudis seek greater US role in Mideast as Obama visits

    New Saudi King Salman is expected to use President Barack Obama's stopover on Tuesday to push for greater US involvement in resolving Middle East crises, analysts say. Obama, accompanied by his wife Michelle, is cutting short a visit to India to convey his condolences after the death of ailing…

    AFP
  • Assad seeks agreement over U.S. air strikes in Syria

    President Bashar al-Assad has said U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria should be subject to an agreement with Damascus and Syrian troops should be involved on the ground. Assad was speaking in an interview with the U.S.-based Foreign Affairs Magazine published on Monday. …

    Reuters
  • Yemen crisis is first big test for Saudi Arabia's King Salman

    By Angus McDowall RIYADH (Reuters) - The turmoil hitting Saudi Arabia's neighbor Yemen will pose the first big test for King Salman, and provide a glimpse as to whether his approach to hotspots in a fragmenting region will differ from that of his late brother. Yemen is at risk of breaking up with…

    Reuters
  • Obama: Counterterrorism operations in Yemen not affected

    NEW DELHI (AP) — President Barack Obama defended his counterterrorism strategy in tumultuous Yemen Sunday, saying efforts to root out a dangerous al-Qaida affiliate there would not be affected by the political vacuum in the country.

    Associated Press
  • IS claims it executed Japanese hostage

    The Islamic State group has said it executed one of two Japanese hostages it has been holding, in an apparent beheading that has been slammed by leaders around the world. The claim, made Sunday, came a day after the release of a video announcing the murder of security contractor Haruna Yukawa by…

    AFP
  • Japan working to gain IS hostage's release, analyzing video

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan was working Monday to coordinate efforts with Jordan and other countries to save a hostage held by the extremist Islamic State group.

    Associated Press
  • Senators: More US special ops troops may be needed in Yemen

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Two influential senators are calling on President Barack Obama to send more U.S. special operations forces to hotspots around the Middle East.

    Associated Press
  • Failed Iraq woman bomber wanted by IS in Japan hostage case

    Sajida al-Rishawi, whose release is demanded by the Islamic State jihadist group that claimed the murder of a Japanese hostage, is a would-be Iraqi female suicide bomber on death row in Jordan. Rishawi was sentenced to death in 2006 for triple hotel bomb attacks in Amman that killed 60 people on…

    AFP
  • Iran foreign minister: Outreach to Saudi Arabia 'necessary'

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign minister says his outreach to regional rival Saudi Arabia after the death of the kingdom's ruler was "necessary."

    Associated Press
  • Japan condemns IS execution, demands remaining hostage release

    By Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday called the killing of a Japanese captive by Islamic State militants "outrageous" and again demanded the group release a second Japanese national they are holding. Abe, speaking to public broadcaster…

    Reuters
  • Obama, Japan's Abe discuss apparent IS execution: White House

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - President Barack Obama phoned Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday from New Delhi to offer condolences for the apparent killing of a Japanese citizen by Islamic State militants, the White House said. Obama thanked Abe for the humanitarian aid that Japan has provided to…

    Reuters
  • Germany halts arms exports to Saudi Arabia

    Germany has decided to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia because of "instability in the region," German daily Bild reported on Sunday. Weapons orders from Saudi Arabia have either been "rejected, pure and simple," or deferred for further consideration, the newspaper said, adding that the…

    AFP