King Abdullah

Palestinian refugees forced to flee again as Syrian forces turn against them

Matthew Clayfield In an old tissue paper factory near the Syrian-Turkish border live people who are refugees twice over.

Gaza truce over, Israel soldier Hadar Goldin captured, 70 dead in Rafah shelling

An Israeli soldier carries a shell at a mobile artillery unit while it fires towards the Gaza Strip

Israel declared a Gaza ceasefire over on Friday, saying Hamas militants breached the truce soon after it took effect and apparently captured an Israeli officer while killing two other soldiers.

Islamic State seizes two Iraqi towns, oil field, defeating Kurds

Smoke rises from an oil refinery in Beiji, some 250 kilometres north of Baghdad , after an attack by Islamic militants.

Ahmed Rasheed and Raheem Salman Insurgents have captured two northern Iraqi towns and an oil field in their first major victory over Kurdish fighters, witnesses said on Sunday.

Sisi sworn in as Egypt's president

Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi takes the oath of office.

Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in as president of Egypt on Sunday in a ceremony with low-key attendance by Western allies concerned by the country's crackdown on dissent since he...

Saudis place terrorist label on the Muslim Brotherhood

Saudi Arabia on Friday declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, escalating a new campaign against the group across the region with a sweeping ban that imposed lengthy prison...

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US president and ageing Saudi monarch at odds

David Blair The US and Saudi Arabia are now at loggerheads over every burning issue in the Middle East.

Putin calls Obama to discuss Ukraine

Michael Shear President Vladimir Putin of Russia called President Barack Obama on Friday to discuss a proposal by Obama for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, and the two leaders agreed that their...

Barack Obama considers sending shoulder-fired missiles to Syrian rebels

Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons President Barack Obama is weighing whether to allow shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles to be shipped to moderate factions of the Syrian opposition, possibly with help from the Saudi government,...

Putin defies Obama in Syria as arms flow fuels Assad resurgence

A Syrian woman reacts following an air strike by Syrian government forces in the al-Sakhour district of the northern city of Aleppo on April 2.

Henry Meyer Russian President Vladimir Putin, condemned by NATO for annexing Crimea, is now defying the US in Syria by sending more and deadlier arms to help Bashar al-Assad, experts say.

Bush art: Dubya, brush in hand, captures fellow leaders

Peter Baker A dour Vladimir Putin glares ever so frostily, full of menace, free of mirth, ready to annex any passer-by unwise enough to get too close.

'Saudi Liberals' website founder sentenced to 10 years in jail, 1000 lashes

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced the editor of an internet forum he founded to discuss the role of religion in the conservative Islamic kingdom to 10 years in jail and 1000 lashes, Saudi media...

Locals prepare for Pope Francis' historical visit to Holy Land

Pope Francis prays at Bethany on the River Jordan, where some Christians believe Jesus was baptised.

Ruth Pollard As a team of cleaners in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre worked on their hands and knees, Vatican flags were being hung outside Jerusalem’s Old City.

Pope Francis calls for peace in Syria during historic Middle East trip

Pope Francis called for urgent steps to end Syria's three-year-old civil war as he arrived in neighbouring Jordan on Saturday during his first trip to the Holy Land as pope.

Israel to take harder line on occupied territory: report

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he addresses the foreign media during a reception marking the new year in Jerusalem.

Jeffrey Heller Israel's prime minister has increased the amount of occupied territory he wants to keep after any peace deal with the Palestinians, Israeli radio reported on Thursday, a move that could complicate U.

Saudi money props up Egypt under rule of generals

Alaa Shahine The absolute monarchies of the Gulf are betting that their money can help build a stable Egypt run by generals.

Islamist threat at home forces Saudi rethink on Syria

Saudi royal guards stand on duty in front of portraits of the country's rulers at a cultural festival this week.

Angus McDowall After serving for years as the main conduit for weapons and cash to rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Saudi Arabia is shifting its policy to contain the spread of Islamist militancy...

Prince Charles of Arabia

Prince Charles

Britain's Prince Charles, dressed in a traditional Saudi robe and a chequered red and white keffiyeh, joined members of Saudi Arabia's royal family in performing the "Ardah" sword dance near Riyadh.

Cheer up, it's the Cold Call Pope on the phone

Pope Francis I comes across as a reformer who doesn't put ideology before morality.

Rome: Pope Francis already has distinguished himself from his predecessor with a more down-to-earth style.

Saudi Arabia to 'shift away from US' over Syria, Iran: spy chief

Saudi Arabia's National Security Council Prince Bandar Bin Sultan

Amena Bakr Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief has said the kingdom will make a "major shift" in relations with the United States in protest at its perceived inaction over the Syria war and its overtures to Iran,...

John Kerry: US-Saudi ties enduring despite Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal

Jo Biddle Secretary of State John Kerry says US ties with Saudi Arabia are "strategic and enduring", even as differences on Syria remain after a visit aimed at easing tension.