05062016Fri
Last update: Fri, 06 May 2016 12am

Middle East

World - Middle East

Obama starts talks with Gulf leaders aimed at easing strains RIYADH: US President Barack Obama and Gulf Arab leaders started talks in Riyadh on Thursday at a summit aimed at forging joint action on perceived security threats from Iran and Islamic State, and at ironing out strains in their old alliance.Obama, who arrived on Wednesday, hopes to allay Gulf countries' fears over Iranian influence and encourage them to douse sectarian tensions in an effort to confront the threat posed by jihadist militants like Islamic State.Those issues were addressed in his bilateral talks on Wednesday with leaders from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and will dominate again in the summit which includes the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members.Years of frustration among Gulf countries, aggravated by more recent stumbles, may make Saudi Arabia and its regional allies less receptive to Obama on his fourth and most probably final trip to the kingdom.The Middle East is mired in a contest ...

World - Middle East

US, allies stage 24 strikes against Islamic State in Iraq, Syria WASHINGTON: The US-led coalition fighting Islamic State staged 24 strikes on Wednesday in Iraq and Syria in its latest daily operation against the militant group, it said in a statement released on Thursday.In Iraq, 21 strikes near nine cities were concentrated near Mosul and Al Baghdadi, where they hit five Islamic State tactical units, seven assembly areas, three staging facilities and four vehicles, among other targets, the Combined Joint Task Force said.The three strikes in ...

World - Middle East

US defense chief lays ground for Obama meeting with Gulf allies RIYADH: US Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his Gulf Arab counterparts met in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss ways to counter Iranian influence and fight the Islamic State group, hours before President Barack Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia.Obama will meet Saudi King Salman before a summit with all the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), also in Riyadh, on Thursday, with shared security and defence issues likely to dominate the agenda.Obama and Carter will ...

World - Middle East

Yemen rebels say to join delayed peace talks in Kuwait SANAA: Yemen's Huthi rebels and their allies have agreed to join delayed UN-brokered peace talks in Kuwait, their representatives said on Wednesday.The rebels agreed to join the talks after receiving assurances from the UN envoy that the ceasefire in effect since April 11 would be respected by loyalist forces, the rebels' Al-Masirah television quoted Huthi representative Saleh al-Sammad as saying. A representative of the rebel-allied General People's Congress party, Yasser Alawadi, said on Twitter that ...

World - Middle East

Kuwait oil workers call off strike, return to work KUWAIT CITY: The Kuwait Oil Workers Union on Wednesday called off a "total strike" and decided to return to work, hours after a fresh appeal by the acting oil minister."In respect for the emir and in loyalty to him... we have decided to cancel the total strike," an official statement by the union said, ending action that had given support to oil prices.The statement said workers would go back to work at 0400 GMT."We trust ...

World - Middle East

Hollande 'worried' over Syria talks, pledges Jordan support AMMAN: French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that the Syrian opposition's decision to suspend participation in peace talks was "worrying", as he offered to support Jordan in dealing with refugees fleeing the five-year conflict.Speaking a day after Syria's main opposition announced its formal participation in peace negotiations in Geneva was on hold, Hollande said he was concerned that a ceasefire that has dramatically reduced fighting across Syria might not last. "If the truce is broken, ...

World - Middle East

US leads 18 strikes against Islamic State in Iraq, Syria: statement WASHINGTON: The United States and its allies staged 17 strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and one in Syria on Monday in the coalition's latest operation against the militant group, the U.S military said in a statement.The strikes in Iraq near eight cities were concentrated near Mosul, where seven strikes hit an Islamic State improvised explosive devices factory, three tactical units and three supply caches, among other targets, the Combined Joint Task Force said in ...