01242017Tue
Last update: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 03am

Middle East

World - Middle East

Saudi Arabia seeks stronger US ties under Trump RIYADH: Longtime US ally Saudi Arabia on Monday said it hopes for strengthened relations under President Donald Trump.At its weekly meeting chaired by King Salman, the cabinet cited "the strength of ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States and the wish to develop and reinforce them", the official Saudi Press Agency said.The cabinet also conveyed its congratulations to Trump following his investiture last Friday.The United States and Saudi Arabia have a decades-old relationship based on the exchange of American security for Saudi oil.But ties between Riyadh and Washington became increasingly frayed during the eight-year administration of former president Barack Obama.Saudi leaders felt Obama was reluctant to get involved in the civil war in Syria and other regional conflicts.Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said last week that he expects the Trump administration to be more engaged in the Middle East, and the world in general, while "rebuilding" relationships with allies.Saudi ...

World - Middle East

Iran's Rouhani says talk about renegotiating nuclear deal "meaningless" DUBAI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday U.S. President-elect Trump could not unilaterally cancel the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers including Washington and that talk of renegotiating it was "meaningless".Trump, who will take office on Friday, has called the July 2015 agreement "the worst deal ever negotiated". He has threatened to either scrap the accord or seek a better deal.Under Iran's settlement with the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, ...

World - Middle East

Netanyahu slams 'futile' Paris peace conference JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday dismissed as "futile" an international conference in Paris seeking to revive the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process."The conference convening today in Paris is a futile conference," he told ministers at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem."It was coordinated between the French and the Palestinians with the aim of imposing upon Israel conditions that are incompatible with our national needs," he said. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), ...

World - Middle East

US 'hostility' grows despite nuclear deal: Iranian official TEHRAN: US "hostility" to Iran is growing day by day despite Tehran's nuclear deal, a senior Iranian official said Sunday, ahead of the first anniversary of the historic accord."The United States has done whatever it can to slow down Iran's progress" after the deal, said Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, the chief Iranian negotiator in the agreement that took effect on January 16 last year."In the last 12 months, we have witnessed delays and the ...

World - Middle East

Trump says cabinet picks free to express own ideas WASHINGTON: US President-elect Donald Trump on Friday shrugged off the strikingly divergent positions his cabinet picks have taken on Russia, torture, and a host of other issues, saying he wanted them to express their own ideas."All of my Cabinet nominee (sic) are looking good and doing a great job," he said in an early morning tweet exactly one week before he takes office. "I want them to be themselves and express their own thoughts, not ...

World - Middle East

Netanyahu calls Paris peace conference 'rigged' JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called this weekend's Middle East peace conference in Paris "rigged" on Thursday, with his government refusing to play any role in the meeting."It's a rigged conference, rigged by the Palestinians with French auspices to adopt additional anti-Israel stances," Netanyahu said while meeting Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende."This pushes peace backwards. It's not going to obligate us. It's a relic of the past. It's a last gasp of the past ...

World - Middle East

Five UAE officials among 57 killed in Afghanistan bombings KANDAHAR: Five UAE officials were among 57 people killed in a string of bombings across Afghan cities, authorities said Wednesday, as Taliban militants step up a deadly winter campaign of violence.The Emiratis were among 12 people killed when explosives hidden in a sofa detonated inside the governor's compound in southern Kandahar on Tuesday, while the UAE's ambassador to Afghanistan escaped the attack with injuries.Just hours before, twin Taliban blasts in Kabul tore through a parliament ...