Ireland’s ambassador Isolde Moylan with Palestinian president Yasser Arafat, whom she met dozens of times, in his compound in Ramallah in 2000

Since 2010, Isolde Moylan, who has served as a diplomat for 40 years, has been accredited to five countries: Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. (...)

A Syrian refugee camp. Last spring Lebanon began to limit the number of Syrians granted entry for “humanitarian” reasons. Photograph: Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images

Beirut is today set to impose visa restrictions on Syrians for the first time since independence in 1943 as the influx of refugees from Syria’s bruta(...)

Turkey’s prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu. “The Barbaros ship will continue to do its seismic studies . .  nobody should try to create a crisis.” Photograph: Kerem Uzel/Bloomberg

Cyprus’s president Nikos Anastasiades is to raise Turkey’s incursion into the island’s maritime exclusion zone at today’s European Council summit in B(...)

Israeli soldiers watch the Syrian side of the border near the Quneitra crossing point between Syria and Israel yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Atef Safadi

The UN Security Council has demanded the immediate and unconditional release of abducted peacekeepers and the withdrawal of insurgents from UN observ(...)

Palestinians ride a donkey cart yesterday past the ruins of houses that witnesses said were destroyed during the Israeli offensive in Johr El-Deek village near the central Gaza Strip. Photograph: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators got off to a rocky start yesterday with sharp exchanges between Israel and Hamas as both sides striv(...)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon meets with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah last month. REUTERS/Alaa Badarneh

Formal talks in Cairo involving a Palestinian umbrella delegation and officials from Egypt’s powerful intelligence agency were held yesterday, in spi(...)

The coalition headed by Iraq’s Shia fundamentalist prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, won by far the largest number of seats in the country’s parliamentary election. Photograph: AP

The coalition headed by Iraq’s Shia fundamentalist prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, won by far the largest number of seats in the country’s parliament(...)

A United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Syrian Arab Red Crescent team arrives to the Bustan al-Qasser neighbourhood in Aleppo, which is controlled by opposition forces. Photograph: EPA/UNHCR

Fighting, and the calculations of both the Syrian government and insurgents, determine whether civilians in contested areas eat, drink, cook an(...)

Candles are lit by the public at the vigil at Eyre Square in Galway city in October  to mark the first anniversary of the death of Savita Halappanavar. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Within the timeframe of the past 70 years, good journalism has never been so important. Events, conflicts, great uncertainty and a deluge of questi(...)

Hizbullah memorial: captured Israeli tank lies amid other remnants of battle. Photograph: Hamzah Tahan

The outgoing lane from Beirut to the ancient port of Sidon is open but there is a steady stream of traffic into Beirut from the south. At the entrance(...)