Syrian president Bashar al-Assad (L) meets an Armenian parliamentary delegation in Damascus earlier this week. Photograph: SANA/Handout via Reuters.

Syrian president Bashar Assad is quietly preparing the ground to hold elections early this summer, even as the Syrian conflict rampages into it(...)

US president Barack Obama with Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, as secretary of state John Kerry looks on, after their arrival in Rawdat Khuraim, Saudi Arabia, yesterday.  Photograph: Doug Mills/New York Times

Over seven decades, the United States and Saudi Arabia forged a strategic alliance that became a linchpin of the regional order: a liberal demo(...)

Israeli soldiers on top of a tank, taking positions near the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, on the Israeli-Syrian border yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Atef Safadi

Syria has warned that Israeli air strikes could destabilise the entire Middle East after attacks inside Syria yesterday left a soldier dead and sev(...)

Nuns, who were freed after being held by rebels for over three months, arrive at the Syrian border with Lebanon at the Jdaydeh Yaboos crossing. Photograph:Khaled al-Hariri /Reuters

Syrian insurgents released 13 nuns and three attendants who disappeared three months ago from their monastery in the ancient Christian town o(...)

A woman cries while meeting US president Barack Obama at the Coral Reef High School in Miami, Florida, last week. Photograph: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

If you can’t spell it, you can’t get it. President Barack Obama pulled a Quayle Thursday night at a White House performance by the women of sou(...)

Boys play soccer along a damaged street in Deir al-Zor in  eastern Syria. Photograph: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

More than 140,000 people, over 7,000 of them children, have been killed in Syria’s uprising-turned-civil war, the Syrian Observatory for Human (...)

Syrian opposition chief negotiator Hadi al-Bahra (right) walks with members of his delegation after a break in a meeting at the European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, yesterday. Peace talks between Syria’s government and opposition groups might be the headline act, but negotiators are also using ongoing talks in Geneva to try to get the country’s various rebel groups on the same page. Photograph: Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA

The Syrian government has offered to let women and children leave the besieged city of Homs as negotiators from the warring sides discussed humanitari(...)

UN and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi (centre) announces that representatives of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and a divided opposition will meet in the same room. Photograph: EPA/Salvatore Di Nolfi

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said a first day of face-to-face talks between Syria’s opposing sides had not yielded significant results but (...)

Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moualem, head of a Syrian government delegation, arrives for a meeting with UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi at a UN office in Genevatoday. Photograph: Jamal Saidi/Reuters

The Syrian government delegation at peace negotiations in Geneva will leave tomorrow if “serious talks” do not start, according to reports.State TV sa(...)

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad (C) meets with the official delegation tasked with participating in the international conference on Syria, which will be held in Switzerland tomorrow. Photograph: Reuters

Syrian state television said a plane carrying Syria’s delegation to international peace talks in Switzerland today was “prevented from refuelling” af(...)

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