Middle East News

45 killed in car bomb explosion in Syria
Dubai [UAE], Feb. 24 : At least 45 people have reportedly been killed and several others injured after a car bomb hit Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in a village near al-Bab. Read Full Story

NIA court frames charges against Abu Dhabi ISIS case accused
New Delhi , Feb. 21 : A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday framed charges against three accused in connection with the Abu Dhabi ISIS case. Read Full Story

Palestinian President to arrive on three-day visit to Pak today
Islamabad [Pakistan], Jan. 30 : Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas will arrive on a three-day visit to Pakistan on Monday during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Read Full Story

Israel moves towards decriminalizing marijuana use
Jerusalem [Israel], Jan. 28 : In a move seen as a step toward marijuana decriminalization in Israel, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced a new policy that would cut down on prosecution for recreational use of the drug. Read Full Story

UN yet to confirm on postponement of Syrian conflict talks
New York [US], Jan. 27: The United Nations on Friday said that there has been no confirmation that talks on the Syrian conflict planned for February 8 in Geneva have been postponed as earlier announced by Russia. Read Full Story

UN hosted negotiations on Syrian conflict postponed
New York [U.S.], Jan. 27 : The United Nations hosted negotiations on the Syrian conflict planned for February 8 in Geneva have been postponed. Read Full Story

Britain signals shift in policy on Bashar al-Assad
London [UK], Jan. 27 : British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said that the United Kingdom accepts that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be allowed to run for re-election in the event of a peace settlement in Syria. Read Full Story

Burj Khalifa lights up in Tri-colour
New Delhi , Jan. 25 : To commemorate India's 68th Republic Day, the tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa, has been illuminated in the colours of the Indian national flag. Read Full Story

With international agreement on ceasefire monitoring, UN envoy praises Syrian delegations in Astana
New York, Jan 24 : The talks to strengthen the ceasefire in war-torn Syria ended on Tuesday in Astana, Kazakhstan, with agreement on how to monitor the effort started last month and praise from the United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura. Read Full Story

13 Pakistani among 16 arrested in Saudi Arabia on terror charges
Islamabad [Pakistan], Jan. 25 : The security forces in Saudi Arabia have arrested 13 Pakistanis and three Saudis suspected of having links to terrorists who blew themselves up during a weekend fire fight with police. Read Full Story

Shahid Afridi's charity to facilitate release of 30 Pak prisoners in UAE
Karachi [Pakistan], Jan. 25 : Former Pakistan cricket team captain Shahid Afridi on Tuesday tweeted that his charity organisation Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) has signed a treaty with authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the release of troubled Pakistani prisoners. Read Full Story

Pak ties with Iran, S. Arabia hanging in balance due to China's plotting
Islamabad [Pakistan], Jan. 25 : The question of whether Pakistan can ever be a reliable partner for key allies Iran and Saudi Arabia hangs in the balance with Islamabad repeatedly sending confusing signals to Tehran and Riyadh, and often reneging on promises made in the recent past. Read Full Story

Israel announces 2,500 settlement homes in occupied West Bank
London [UK], Jan. 25 : Israel in a defiant move has approved a massive new building programme of Jewish settlement homes in the occupied Palestinian territories. Read Full Story

In Helsinki, UN appeals for nearly USD 5B to help Syrians and host communities
New York, Jan 24 : The United Nations and partners on Tuesday appealed at an aid conference in Finland for USD 4.63 billion to help people inside Syria, those who fled and the communities hosting them. Read Full Story

Saudi Security forces foil major terror bids in Jeddah
Jeddah [Saudi Arabia], Jan. 24: Saudi security forces recently foiled major terror attempts by storming two hideouts in Jeddah. Read Full Story

UAE optimistic over investments in India: Economy Minister Mansouri
Abu Dhabi [UAE], Jan. 24 : Noting that the balance of trade and business is tilting towards the East, UAE's Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri has said the nation is optimistic in investing in India's infrastructure and manufacturing industries, adding that the strong trade relations with New Delhi has been an integral part of its leadership's strategy. Read Full Story

69 Pakistanis under detention in Saudi Arabia on terrorism charges
Jeddah [Saudi Arabia], Jan. 24: The arrest of a Pakistani woman in Jeddah's Al-Naseem district during a security operation on Saturday has raised the number of Pakistanis detained for involvement in terror activities to 69. Read Full Story

More than words, ending Yemen crisis needs results, UN envoy says, concluding mission in capital
New York, Jan 24 : The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, on Monday concluded a mission to Yemen with a call for a comprehensive political settlement of the crisis and the restoration of the cessation of hostilities, and underlined the need allow access of civilian commercial aircrafts to and from Sana'a airport. Read Full Story

At talks in Astana, UN envoy on Syria urges mechanism to oversee ceasefire
New York, Jan 23 : International talks to extend the ceasefire in Syria started on Monday in the Kazakh capital of Astana, with the United Nations Special Envoy said the ceasefire can be solidified if a mechanism to oversee and implement it is created. Read Full Story

Emirates to launch daily service to Newark via Athens
Dubai, Jan 23 : Airlines major Emirates on Monday announced it will launch a new daily service from Dubai to Newark Liberty International Airport, via the Greek capital city of Athens, starting on Mar 12. Read Full Story

'If you don't have extremism you will not have terrorism': UAE businessman
Abu Dhabi [UAE], Jan.23 : The Chairman of the Hedayah board, Dr Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi has asserted that if there is no extremism there will be no terrorism. Read Full Story

Air strikes kill 21 ISIS loyalists in Afghanistan's Zabul province
Kabul [Afghanistan], Jan. 23 : At least 21 loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group have been killed in air strikes carried out by the Afghan Air Forces in Zabul province. Read Full Story

UAE asserts commitment to counter threats of extremism, foreign terrorist violence
Abu Dhabi [UAE], Jan.23 : The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has asserted its commitment to countering the threat of extremism and foreign terrorist violence and finding solutions for it. Read Full Story

White House confirms relocation of US Israel embassy to Jerusalem
Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 23 : In a highly controversial move, President of the United States Donald Trump will on Monday announce to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Read Full Story

To combat terrorism we need to undermine, confront extremist forces: Anwar Gargash
Abu Dhabi [UAE], Jan. 23 : Citing association between extremism and terrorism Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, UAE Anwar Gargash on Monday said that to combat terrorism the extremist forces need to be undermined. Read Full Story

UAE's strategic relationship with India is above all: Anwar Gargash
Abu Dhabi [UAE], Jan. 22 : Asserting that India is a global power, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, UAE Anwar Gargash on Sunday said its strategic relationship with New Delhi is above all. Read Full Story

Pak army chief, Saudi envoy discuss defence cooperation
Rawalpindi [Pakistan], Jan. 21 : Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said during discussions with Saudi Arabian envoy Abdullah Marzouk Al - zahrani that the Pakistan Army held the defence of Saudi Arabia at par with its own. Read Full Story

UN confirms destruction of sites in Palmyra, other ancient Syrian cities
New York, Jan 21 : The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has confirmed the destruction of Palmyra's famed tetrapylon and the facade of the ancient Syrian city's Roman theatre, following its evaluation of the destruction of cultural heritage sites in iconic Aleppo. Read Full Story

Syria: Al-Qaida facilitator killed
Washington, Jan 20 : The US government on Friday said on Jan. 12, U.S. forces killed Abd al-Jalil al-Muslimi, an al-Qaida facilitator, in a precision airstrike near Saraqib, Syria. Read Full Story

Syria: Ceasefire a 'disappointment' for aid access; UN envoy invited to Astana talks
New York, Jan 20 : Despite a cessation of hostilities in war-ravaged Syria, aid workers are still unable to reach many people desperately needing assistance, the United Nations reported on Thursday, also announcing that Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura will attend upcoming talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana. Read Full Story

UN rights expert urges Saudi Arabia to use economic plan to bolster women's rights
New York, Jan 20 : An independent United Nations expert on Thursday urged Saudi officials to use their bold new plan for economic transformation to improve the human rights of women and the poor. Read Full Story

Turkey: UNICEF cites risk of 'lost generation' of Syrian children despite enrolment increase
New York, Jan 19 : More than 40 per cent of Syrian refugee children in Turkey are missing out on education, despite a sharp increase in enrolment rates, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday. Read Full Story

Top UN humanitarian official in Syria allocates USD 19 million for emergency response in Aleppo
New York, Jan 19 : Amid an overall scale-up in relief operations in Syria, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the country, Ali Al-Za'tari, approved on Wednesday USD 19 million from the Syria Humanitarian Fund to sustain immediate life-saving and early recovery assistance for tens of thousands of people in war-ravaged Aleppo. Read Full Story

UAE envoy appreciates Pak Army's role in fight against terrorism
Rawalpindi [Pakistan], Jan. 19 : Ambassador of United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Pakistan Essa Abdullah Albasha Alnoaimi met Chief of Army Staff, General QamarJaved Bajwa on Wednesday and appreciated the role of Pakistan Army in fight against terrorism and militancy. Read Full Story

Yemen: Ongoing humanitarian crisis adding to migrants woes, says UN migration agency
New York, Jan 18 : Highlighting the plight of migrants from the Horn of Africa arriving in Yemen - which itself has seen more than 2.1 million people internally displaced due to ongoing conflict and the resulting humanitarian crisis - the United Nations migration agency has called for additional support for the vulnerable. Read Full Story

Iran and India have largely converging interest in stability and prosperity: Vice President
New Delhi, Jan 18 : Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari has said that in the world of tomorrow, they (Iran and India) would need to use the tools of modernity - economic, technological and political - creatively and they have a largely converging interest in an area of stability and prosperity. Read Full Story

Syria: Heavy fighting forces UN food relief agency to suspend airdrops in Deir ez-Zor
New York, Jan 18 : The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday that it has been forced to suspend airdrops to residents of the besieged Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor because of heavy fighting between Government forces and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh). Read Full Story

At Security Council, senior UN envoy cautions against 'unilateral' action in Middle Eas
New York, Jan 18 : Unilateral actions threaten to unravel the two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, the United Nations focal point on the Middle East on Tuesday told the Security Council, stressing that both sides must do their part to create the necessary conditions to launch direct negotiations. Read Full Story

Pakistan: Qatari prince's convoy hunting rare Bustard attacked by villagers
Lahore [Pakistan], Jan. 17 : The convoy of a member from the Qatari Royal Family, who was on an expedition to hunt the Houbara Bustard, a rare bird whose meat is prized by Arab sheikhs, was attacked by a group of villagers with guns and knives. Read Full Story

Parallel hardcore Islamic suburbs sprouting in heart of France- a sign of worry?
Paris [France], Jan. 17 : Women being banned from hanging out at bars and bistros, being told to wear fully covered clothes, being forbidden from mixing with men; such a scene is very easily acceptable in a place like Saudi Arabia where the Sharia law, which is quite clear on the role of the woman in Islam, governs the way of life. Read Full Story

UN envoy in Yemen meeting with President, senior officials to push for greater aid access
New York, Jan 17 : The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, is on Monday in Aden, highlighting the need for a truce to allow in humanitarian aid and move along the peace process. Read Full Story

India takes issue of non-payment of salary to Indian workers with Bahrain
New Delhi , Jan. 17 : The External Affairs Ministry (MEA) has said that the Indian Embassy in Bahrain has taken-up the issue of non-payment of salary to Indian workers at high level with the country and authorities there have expressed regret at the incident and have assured that safety and wellbeing of all workers, including Indian nationals, remains their first priority. Read Full Story

Main suspect of Istanbul nightclub attack arrested
Ankara [Turkey], Jan. 17 : The Turkish Police have arrested the main suspect of the deadly terrorist attack on an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people on New Year's Eve. Read Full Story

'We must not let 2017 repeat tragedies of 2016 for Syria' - top UN aid officials
New York, Jan 16 : While efforts to fully implement a ceasefire in Syria continue, senior United Nations humanitarian officials on Monday appealed for immediate, unconditional, and safe access to reach the children and families who are still cut off from relief aid across the Middle Eastern country. Read Full Story

FICCI Delegation with Power Minister visits Masdar Smart City in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Jan.16 : FICCI is leading a high-level Business Delegation accompanying Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Power, Coal, New and amp; Renewable Energy and amp; Mines to the World Future Energy Summit at Abu Dhabi during 15-18 January 2017. Read Full Story

ISIS militants kidnap 13 seminary teachers in Afghanistan
Kabul [Afghanistan], Jan. 16 : At least 13 seminary teachers were abducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Read Full Story

Top Saudi cleric says cinemas, song concerts harmful and corrupting
Dubai [UAE], Jan. 15 : Saudi Arabia's highest-ranking cleric has called cinemas and singing concerts as harmful and corrupting. Read Full Story

UN agencies assess dire hygiene, protection needs for women in Syria's war-ravaged Aleppo
New York, Jan 14 : The health, hygiene and protection needs of women and girls displaced in Aleppo are staggering, the United Nations has observed, voicing concern for civilians in the Syrian city that has endured intense fighting for about four years. Read Full Story

Iraq: Thousands displaced from Mosul in 'desperate' need of life-saving aid, UN agency reports
New York, Jan 14 : Since the start of the Iraqi military operation to retake Mosul in October last year, more than 144,500 people have been displaced and a majority of them are in desperate need of live-saving humanitarian assistance, the United Nations migration agency has warned. Read Full Story

9 killed in militant attacks in Syria
Damascus, Jan 13 : At least seven people were killed in an explosion in Syrian city of Damascus on Thursday, media reports said on Friday. Read Full Story

UAE to rethink on ties with Pakistan post killing of five diplomats
Dubai [United Arab Emirates], Jan. 13 : The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is reported to be seriously having a rethink on its relations with Pakistan post the killing of five of its diplomats and six senior Afghanistan Government officials in a brutal terror attack inside the Kandahar Governor's compound on January 10 this year. Read Full Story

UAE to rethink on ties with Pakistan post killing of five diplomats
Dubai [United Arab Emirates], Jan. 13 : The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is reported to be seriously having a rethink on its relations with Pakistan post the killing of five of its diplomats and six senior Afghanistan Government officials in a brutal terror attack inside the Kandahar Governor's compound on January 10 this year. Read Full Story

Syria ceasefire holding amid rising concerns about aid delivery and Damascus water supply - UN envoy
New York, Jan 13 : While the ceasefire in Syria is largely holding, the United Nations envoy for the country cautioned on Thursday that the truce may be under threat as clashes in villages in the Wadi Barada valley has damaged water infrastructure and left more than five million people in and around Damascus facing water shortages. Read Full Story

As millions suffer water shortages in Syria, UN looks to keep potable supply safe
New York, Jan 12 : The United Nations expressed concern on Wednesday about fighting in the Wadi Barada area of west Damascus, which in addition to displacing thousands of people, has also restricted water supplies to some 5.5 million people in and around the Syrian capital. Read Full Story

UN agency renews call for protecting children after deadly attacks in Yemeni capital
New York, Jan 11 : At least one girl has been killed and four others injured in attacks near a school outside the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, leading the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to renew its call on the people involved in the country's conflict to protect children and stop attacks on civilian structures. Read Full Story

Afghanistan: Twin blasts in Kandahar injure Governor, UAE Ambassador
Kabul. Jan 11 : The Governor of Kandahar province and the UAE Ambassador to Afghanistan was injured in a twin blast which rocked the province, local Khaama Press reported. Read Full Story

Iran finally receives Haj invite from Saudi Arabia
London [UK], Jan. 11 : Iran has said that it has finally received an official invitation from Saudi Arabia for its pilgrims to attend this year's Haj. Read Full Story

Palestinian officials threaten to revoke recognition of Israel if U.S. embassy shifted to Jerusalem
London [UK], Jan.11 : Senior Palestinian officials have warned that the Palestine Liberation Organisation's recognition of Israel - one of the key pillars of the moribund Oslo peace agreements - will be in danger of being revoked if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump moves the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Read Full Story

Hundreds from western Mosul getting medical attention amid fight to retake Iraqi city
New York, Jan 11 : Nearly 700 people have been moved to hospitals from the frontlines in Mosul, Iraq, as the United Nations and partners are working to scale up humanitarian efforts for thousands of people fleeing the fighting between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) and Iraqi forces. Read Full Story

INTERVIEW: Robert Serry on the 'Endless Quest' for Middle East peace, reflections from no man's land
New York, Jan 11 : The United Nation's former point person for Middle East negotiations has said that Israelis and Palestinians need at least the prospects of a two-state solution, and urged the international community to create conditions for more effective discussions in the future. Read Full Story

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