05022016Mon
Last update: Mon, 02 May 2016 06am

Middle East

World - Middle East

Kerry says respect for human rights essential in Bahrain MANAMA: US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that respect for human rights and an inclusive political system were essential for Bahrain, a Sunni-ruled Gulf monarchy with a restive Shia Muslim majority.Rights groups accuse Bahrain of failing to implement reforms to give its Shias a bigger share in government. They also accuse security forces of using torture against opponents, arresting political leaders and revoking the citizenship of activists, charges that Bahrain denies."Here, as in all nations, we believe that respect for human rights and an inclusive political system are essential in order to allow citizens to be able to reach and live out their full potential," Kerry told a news conference.Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said Bahrain planned to free rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja, who was detained last month to serve a prison sentence for tearing up a picture of the king, and took her infant ...

World - Middle East

250 Syrians missing after IS attack east of Damascus DAMASCUS: Around 250 Syrian civilians are feared kidnapped after an attack by the Islamic State militant group on a cement factory east of Damascus, residents told AFP on Thursday. "We haven't been able to reach our family members since noon on Monday after an attack by Daesh on the factory," said a resident of the town of Dmeir, 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Damascus, using the Arabic acronym for IS. An administrator at the ...

World - Middle East

Iraqi PM's nominee as finance minister withdraws candidacy BAGHDAD: Ali Allawi, who Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi nominated last week to serve as finance minister in a new technocrat govenrment, withdrew his candidacy on Wednesday, citing "political interventions and partisan bickering".A letter dated April 6, which a source in Allawi's office and Kurdish officials confirmed as authentic, said political infighting "will certainly abort the radical and comprehensive reform project", which Abadi has been advocating.Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...

World - Middle East

Syria peace talks to resume on April 11: UN GENEVA: Syria peace talks will likely resume in Geneva on April 11, but regime negotiators will only arrive several days later after the completion of parliamentary elections in the country, the UN said Tuesday. United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura had previously said he wanted to restart the talks on April 9, but noted there was flexibility in the timeline. UN spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told journalists that de Mistura "expects to start on the 11th" ...

World - Middle East

UAE court jails Lebanese 'Hezbollah' trio ABU DHABI: An Emirati court sentenced on Monday three Lebanese, including a Canadian dual national, to six months in prison for forming a local affiliate of Iran-backed Hezbollah, local media said.The supreme federal court convicted the trio of "forming a group for the terrorist Hezbollah (movement) in the country," Ittihad daily reported, adding that they will be deported after serving their sentences.They "were found guilty of setting up an office of the militant group in ...

World - Middle East

US, allies conduct 24 strikes against Islamic State: US military WASHINGTON: The United States and its allies conducted two dozen strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Sunday, the coalition leading the operations said.In a statement released on Monday, the Combined Joint Task Force said 14 strikes near seven cities in Syria, almost half of them near Al Hawl, hit several tactical units and destroyed vehicles, buildings and improvised explosive devices.In Iraq, 10 strikes near seven cities denied Islamic State access to terrain ...

World - Middle East

First Syrians arrive in Germany under EU-Turkey pact HANOVER: The first Syrians arrived in Germany from Istanbul on Monday under a controversial EU-Turkey migrant pact, an official from the German federal refugee office told AFP.The 16 asylum seekers flew into the northern city of Hanover and were to be taken to a refugee shelter about 140 kilometres (90 miles) away. A second group of Syrians was to arrive in Hanover around midday, the official added. The representative from the Federal Office for Migration ...