Middle East
Latest stories
Jerusalem Patriarch Calls for Mideast Reconciliation

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad Twal calls for reconciliation in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and North Africa in his Christmas homily to be delivered in Bethlehem later on Saturday.

Twal, the most senior Roman Catholic in the Middle East, urges "the return of calm and reconciliation in Syria, in Egypt, in Iraq and in North Africa" in the text of a speech published ahead of delivery at midnight mass in the place of Christ's birth.

W140 Full Story
Yemen President Saleh Says he Plans a Stay in U.S.

Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is set to stand down in February, told reporters on Saturday he is planning a stay in the United States in the coming days.

"I will travel to the United States in the coming days, not for treatment because I am well, but in order to create favorable conditions ... for the presidential election" set for February 21, he told a news conference in Sanaa.

W140 Full Story
Candidates Register for Iran Legislative Elections

Candidates started registering Saturday to stand in Iran's March legislative elections in a process vetted by the Guardian's Council, the Islamic republic's electoral watchdog.

"We recommend to candidates to come forward to serve the people and to keep the success of the Islamic revolution in mind," the ministry's website quoted Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar as saying.

W140 Full Story
Tunisian Government Sworn In

Tunisia's new government was sworn in on Saturday by the country's president, who told the ministers to get straight down to work.

Headed by Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, the 30 ministers and 11 more junior secretaries of state took the oath at the presidential palace in Carthage before head of state Moncef Marzouki.

W140 Full Story
7 Shot Dead in Yemen Protest

Security forces and backers of Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh shot dead seven protesters on Saturday in the south of the capital, medical sources said.

Dozens more demonstrators were hurt when tear gas and water cannons were used against thousands of marchers demanding that Saleh go on trial, witnesses and medics said.

W140 Full Story
25 Dead in Syria as Thousands Turn Out for Funerals of Blast Victims

At least 25 people were killed on Saturday several Syrian cities where the protests against President Bashar Assad's regime erupted in March, a rights group said.

Local Coordination Committees said that Syrian security forces shot dead 25 civilians in Homs, Daraa, Aleppo, Reef Damascus, and Idlib.

W140 Full Story
Arab League Chief Condemns Damascus Bombings

The Arab League chief condemned on Saturday two deadly bombings against Syrian security forces in Damascus, saying the attacks would not affect a mission of observers to oversee an end to the bloodshed.

Nabil al-Arabi, who met the mission's head, Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi on Saturday as he prepared to leave for Damascus, also called for "an immediate end to all violence and killings by any side."

W140 Full Story
Iraq President Says VP Trial OK with 'Reassurances'

Iraq's President Jalal Talabani said Saturday that the country's Sunni vice president, who stands accused of running a death squad, would stand trial only if promises were made regarding its fairness.

His remarks come with the country mired in a political row, with an arrest warrant out for Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, and Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki calling for the sacking of his Sunni deputy after the latter called him a dictator "worse than Saddam Hussein."

W140 Full Story
Egypt Islamists Sweep Second Round of Election

Egypt's main Islamist parties won 65 percent of votes for party lists in the second round of a historic election for a new parliament after Hosni Mubarak's ouster, the electoral committee said Saturday.

The Freedom and Justice Party won 36.5 percent of the vote for party lists, with 4,058,498 out of 11,173,818 votes, according to figures provided by the electoral committee for the second round which was held on December 14.

W140 Full Story
Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood Accuses Regime of Seeking to Implicate it in Bombings

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood denied on Saturday its involvement in the Damascus bombings, saying the regime had set up a website similar to its webpage to implicate it in the blasts that left 44 people dead a day earlier.

In remarks to al-Arabiya TV station, Brotherhood official Mohammed Farouq Tayfour said the Syrian authorities established the site to accuse the group of carrying out the twin suicide bombings.

W140 Full Story