US secretary of state John Kerry said he and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov have reached a provisional agreement on terms of a cessation of hostilities in Syria. Photograph: AFP

US secretary of state John Kerry said on Sunday he and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov have reached a provisional agreement on terms of a cessa(...)

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan “We recognise the challenge and complexity of the task ahead.” Photograph: Matt Mackey/PA Wire

Ireland has been selected to co-chair a major United Nations summit of world leaders on refugees and migration later this year. The summit of 193 h(...)

German chancellor Angela Merkel and British prime minister David Cameron listen to speakers at the donors conference for Syria in London. Photograph:  Stefan Rousseau/Reuters

Donor nations pledged on Thursday to give billions of dollars in aid to Syrians as world leaders gathered for a conference to tackle the world’s wors(...)

Al Zaatari  camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq. Jordan’s King Abdullah said  his people could not accept any more refugees. Photograph: Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

International aid organisations are on Thursday set to present to a London summit, entitled Supporting Syria and the Region, a new strategy for dealin(...)

King Salman meeting US president Barack Obama in Washington last September. File photograph: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The atrocity in Paris on November 13th blew away some of the gloom which had settled on a number of major companies. In the first 30 minutes of trad(...)

President Barack Obama meeting King Salman of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office of the White House last September. The relationship between the countries has become increasingly strained, but the US seems a long way from abandoning it. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

The Obama administration on Monday confronted the fundamental contradiction in its increasingly tense relationship with Saudi Arabia. It could not bri(...)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has endorsed injudicious policies that could have disastrous consequences for his country and the Middle East. File photograph: Ho/AFP/Getty Images

Since assuming the Saudi throne at the end of January last year, King Salman has endorsed injudicious, even reckless, policies that could have disastr(...)

 Saudi women leave a polling station after casting their votes in the  municipal elections, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photograph: EPA

Saudi Arabians voted 17 women into public office in municipal elections in the conservative Islamic kingdom on Saturday, the first to allow female par(...)

A still image  from video footage  shows a burning trail as a plane comes down after being shot down near the Turkish-Syrian border. Photograph: EPA

In the blue sky above northern Syria, a dark shape moved. It was a Russian SU-24 attack aircraft. Over the past week, Russian jets based at the Khmeim(...)

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, pauses during a news conference at  the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) summit in Tehran, Iran, on Monday. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Russian president Vladimir Putin called Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet a stab in the back administered by “the accomplices of terrorists,” (...)