Middle East Affairs

Arab World

Uri Avnery, first Israeli to meet Arafat, dies at 94

    Uri Avnery, first Israeli to meet Arafat, dies at 94

Uri Avnery, a left-wing peace activist who in 1982 became the first prominent Israeli to meet in public with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, died on Monday in a Tel Aviv

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Mali’s top court confirms Keita as presidential election winner

    Mali’s top court confirms Keita as presidential election winner

Mali’s constitutional court on Monday confirmed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s re-election in a run-off ballot, rejecting fraud accusations by the opposition candidate. The decision clears the way for Keita to

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Afghanistan announces Muslim Eid holiday ceasefire with Taliban

    Afghanistan announces Muslim Eid holiday ceasefire with Taliban

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a ceasefire with Taliban insurgents from Monday to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, days after fighting in the central city of Ghazni and a

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Muslims begin annual haj pilgrimage amid heavy rains

    Muslims begin annual haj pilgrimage amid heavy rains

As more than 2 million pilgrims from around the world braved stormy weather in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to begin the annual haj ritual, the country’s health minister said there

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Yemeni forces within striking distance of Hodeidah, protecting civilian life top priority

    Yemeni forces within striking distance of Hodeidah, protecting civilian life top priority

HODEIDAH,  – The joint Yemeni Resistance Forces, backed by the Arab Coalition fighting on behalf of the internationally recognised government in Yemen, are within striking distance of Hodeidah. A Yemeni

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President Putin says everything must be done for refugees to return to Syria

    President Putin says everything must be done for refugees to return to Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that everything must be done for Syrian refugees to return to their conflict-torn country. Speaking ahead of talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

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Qatar accuses Saudis of barring haj pilgrims, Riyadh says untrue

    Qatar accuses Saudis of barring haj pilgrims, Riyadh says untrue

RIYADH (Reuters) – Qatar has accused Saudi Arabia of barring its citizens from this year’s haj, something Riyadh denies, saying a diplomatic dispute is not stopping Qataris from making the

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U.S. raises $300 million from allies for Syria stabilization

    U.S. raises $300 million from allies for Syria stabilization

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Friday it had secured $300 million from coalition partners to help stabilize parts of Syria retaken from Islamic State, after President Donald

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Higher living costs, fees force many Egyptians to drop haj plans

    Higher living costs, fees force many Egyptians to drop haj plans

CAIRO  – Mahmoud Aouni has always wanted to make the haj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, an important religious duty for all Muslims, but says

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Yemeni government and Houthi movement invited to September 6 peace talks – U.N.

    Yemeni government and Houthi movement invited to September 6 peace talks – U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations has invited the Yemeni government and the Houthi movement that controls most of the north to peace talks in Geneva on Sept. 6, a

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U.S. welcomes Saudi Arabia’s pledge of $100 million for Syria

    U.S. welcomes Saudi Arabia’s pledge of $100 million for Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday welcomed Saudi Arabia’s contribution of $100 million to help stabilize parts of Syria no longer held by Islamic State, which comes as

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Iraq bombs Islamic State ‘operations room’ in Syria

    Iraq bombs Islamic State ‘operations room’ in Syria

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq launched an air strike on a gathering of Islamic State fighters in neighbouring Syria, killing members of the hardline militant group who planned cross-border attacks, its

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Iraq says buys 60 thousands tonnes rice in international tender

    Iraq says buys 60 thousands tonnes rice in international tender

DUBAI/HAMBURG (Reuters) – Iraq’s state grains board said on Thursday it had purchased a total of 60,000 tonnes of rice in an international tender, which closed this week. The board

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Yemen’s ancient architecture threatened by war

    Yemen’s ancient architecture threatened by war

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen’s three-year war has taken a heavy toll on Sanaa’s historic Old City, a dense warren of mosques, bath houses and 6,000 mud brick houses, which date

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Qatar to invest $15 billion in Turkey; source says banks the focus

    Qatar to invest $15 billion in Turkey; source says banks the focus

ANKARA (Reuters) – Qatar pledged $15 billion of investment in Turkey on Wednesday, that a government source in Ankara said would be channelled into its banks and financial markets. The

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Qatar’s emir heads to Turkey for talks with Erdogan

    Qatar’s emir heads to Turkey for talks with Erdogan

DUBAI (Reuters) – Qatar’s emir headed to Turkey on Wednesday for talks with President Tayyip Erdogan who is dealing with a collapse of the lira currency and deteriorating relations with

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Iran oil minister to attend JMMC meeting in Algeria in September – ISNA

    Iran oil minister to attend JMMC meeting in Algeria in September – ISNA

BEIRUT – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh will attend a meeting of an OPEC/non-OPEC committee that monitors output compliance, known as the JMMC, in Algeria in September, the Iranian Students’

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Egypt arrests 13 on anniversary of 2013 crackdown

    Egypt arrests 13 on anniversary of 2013 crackdown

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian police have arrested 13 alleged Muslim Brotherhood members accused of inciting protests on the fifth anniversary of the violent dispersal of two mass sit-ins. The Interior

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Lebanon’s Hariri says government formation may take more time

    Lebanon’s Hariri says government formation may take more time

BEIRUT (Reuters) – It may take Lebanese parties more time to form a coalition government, prime minister designate Saad al-Hariri said on Tuesday more than three months after the general

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Turkey hopes to find solution on Syria’s Idlib with Russia

    Turkey hopes to find solution on Syria’s Idlib with Russia

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s foreign minister said on Tuesday he hoped his country and Russia could find a solution over the northern Syrian region of Idlib, a rebel-held enclave which

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