Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was due in Tehran Tuesday evening for talks that officials said would focus on bilateral ties, a landmark nuclear deal and plans for a Syria peace conference.
The two-day visit comes after Iran agreed in Geneva on November 24 to freeze or curb some of its controversial nuclear activities in return for limited relief from crippling international sanctions.Full Story
Israel's parliament has approved a law which allows illegal immigrants from Africa to be detained for up to a year without trial, MPs announced on Tuesday.
The government-backed bill amends earlier legislation from 2012 under which illegal immigrants could be held for three years without trial that was overturned by the Supreme Court in September.Full Story
A Dutch couple kidnapped in Yemen six months ago have been freed in the capital Sanaa, state news agency Saba said on Tuesday in a report confirmed by the Dutch ambassador.
"Dutch journalist Judith Spiegel and her partner Boudewijn Berendsen, abducted since June 8 have been freed," Saba quoted a security official as saying.Full Story
The head of the world chemical weapons watchdog said on Tuesday the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons could begin in late January.
"We hope that by the end of January, the destruction on the American ship could start," the director general of the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ahmet Uzumcu, told AFP.Full Story
Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel reaffirmed U.S. military ties with Qatar on Tuesday, during a regional tour aimed at shoring up Gulf alliances amid disagreements over policy on Iran and Syria.
Hagel met Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and his minister of state for defense, Major General Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah, in Doha, following stops in Saudi Arabia on Monday and Bahrain last week.Full Story
Radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada, deported by Britain in July after a near decade-long legal battle, pleaded not guilty as his trial in Jordan on terrorism charges opened on Tuesday.
"You know full well I am not guilty and that this accusation is false," Abu Qatada, in prison overalls, told the state security court in Amman.Full Story
Saudi authorities on Tuesday beheaded a man convicted of incest in the south of the conservative Muslim kingdom, the interior ministry said.
Hasan Ghazwani, a Saudi national, was executed in the city of Jizan, the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.Full Story
Syria's army Tuesday turned its sights on the town of Yabrud, the last rebel stronghold in the strategic Qalamoun region near Lebanon's border, as it moved to open a key highway to Damascus.
The town is believed to be where a group of nuns from the historic Christian hamlet of Maalula have been transferred, reportedly in the hands of jihadist rebels from Al-Nusra Front.Full Story
Leaders of the oil-rich Gulf states converged on Kuwait Tuesday for a summit amid differences over a proposed confederation and ties with Iran.
The summit follows a rare public spat between bloc leader Saudi Arabia and Oman over Riyadh's proposal to upgrade the GCC into a union -- 32 years after its establishment.Full Story
A radical group linked to al-Qaida kidnapped two Spanish journalists reporting in Syria in September and is holding them captive, El Mundo newspaper reported on Tuesday.
El Mundo correspondent Javier Espinosa and Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, a freelance photographer, were seized on September 16 in Raqqa province, the Spanish daily said on its website.Full Story