02142016Sun
Last update: Sun, 14 Feb 2016 06am

Middle East

World - Middle East

Opposition to decide on Syria peace talks BEIRUT: An important section of the Syrian opposition has to decide Wednesday on whether to participate in the Geneva peace talks, which could be compromised by the presence of other opponents of the regime, including the Kurds.The office of UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said it had issued invitations to the talks, scheduled to begin on Friday, but refused to say who had been invited to represent President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian opposition. It is the latest international attempt to end Syria's conflict, which has killed more than 260,000 people since it began with anti-government protests in March 2011.The talks have already been delayed from their scheduled start on Monday over who will represent the opposition.The High Negotiations Committee, a body representing key opposition groups and factions, insists it should be the sole opposition delegation.But several opposition figures who do not belong to the body told AFP on ...

World - Middle East

Israel's Netanyahu says UN's Ban 'encourages terror' JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday accused the UN chief of "encouraging terror" after Ban Ki-moon spoke of Palestinian frustration at Israel's occupation and said it was natural to resist."The comments of the UN Secretary General encourage terror," Netanyahu said in a statement. "There is no justification for terror."Earlier, Ban was quoted in a UN statement as telling the Security Council of the "profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians -- especially ...

World - Middle East

Russia won't allow to punish it for independent foreign policy: Lavrov MOSCOW: Russia will not allow the West to punish it for conducting an independent foreign policy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday."Attempts are still being made to make unilateral gains and even to punish us for an independent foreign policy," Lavrov told his annual news conference."We are ready for the ... most constructive cooperation with our Western partners, including Europe and the United States ... but only and exclusively on an equal and ...

World - Middle East

Some in Syria process 'behave capriciously' by refusing to talk: Lavrov MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that some participants of the Syria peace process had been "capricious" by refusing to negotiate."When there are attempts to put conditions for collective fight against terrorism, conditions that are irrelevant, such as 'if you agree to a regime change, for example, in Syria, then we will for real begin to fight terrorism collectively' ... that is, I believe, the biggest mistake," Lavrov told a press conference.Copyright ...

World - Middle East

US, allies conduct 19 strikes against Islamic State: US military WASHINGTON: The United States and its allies staged 19 strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Sunday in the coalition's latest round of daily attacks on the militant group, the coalition leading the operations said in a statement.Sixteen strikes in Iraq were concentrated near Ramadi and Mosul where they hit five of the militants' tactical units and destroyed a weapons cache, a communications facility, four fighting positions and three buildings, among other targets, ...

World - Middle East

Netanyahu says supports 'settlement at any time' after Hebron incident JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed strong support Sunday for Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank as he faced pressure from hardline right-wing members of his coalition over an incident in Hebron.Netanyahu heads a coalition with only a one-seat majority in parliament, making him especially vulnerable to the demands of religious nationalists in his cabinet regarding settlements, which much of the international community opposes.His comments on Sunday came at a time of sharp ...

World - Middle East

Iran arrested 100 over Saudi embassy attack: judiciary TEHRAN: Iran has arrested around 100 people over the attack on Saudi Arabia's embassy that led to Riyadh cutting diplomatic ties with Tehran, a judiciary spokesman said Sunday."Since the attack, about 100 people have been arrested, of whom some have been released," Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.The ransacking of the embassy earlier this month "has been condemned by all authorities and we have taken immediate and serious ...