During Pope Francis’s 2014 visit to the Holy Land, the Vatican’s official programme referred to Mahmoud Abbas as the president of the “state of Palestine”. Photograph:  Giampiero Sposito/Reuters

The Vatican has officially recognised the state of Palestine in a new treaty.The treaty, which is still has to be signed, makes clear that the Holy Se(...)

Rev Ian McNie: Next Presbyterian moderator

Reverend Ian McNie, minister of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Ballymoney, Co Antrim, will be the next moderator for Ireland’s 240,000 Presbyterians. (...)

‘Speaking in Malawi recently, President Michael D Higgins said that the legacy of Irish missionaries “continues today through the inspirational work of their successors here in Malawi and across the globe”.’ Above, President Higgins and   his wife Sabina arriving at the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on the first day of his   official visit to Ethiopia, Malawi and South Africa. Photograph:  Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography

This year marks the end of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs were visionary, with clear targets to improve lives threatened by dise(...)

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. (...)

 Riyad H Mansour (right), permanent observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, addresses the media after handing copies of instruments of accession to the International Criminal Court to the United Nations. Photograph: Evan Schneider/EPA/Handout.

Palestinian authorities have submitted documents to the United Nations to join the International Criminal Court, a move that would enable them to seek(...)

Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman: “The Swedish government should understand that Middle East relations are more complex than a piece of self-assembled Ikea furniture.” Photograph: Maya Hitij/Reuters

The Swedish government officially recognised the state of Palestine today, the first western European country to do so.Stockholm’s move reflects grow(...)

Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven (front second left) with Swedish Princess Victoria, King Carl XVI Gustaf (second right) and parliament speaker Urban Ahlin during a cabinet meeting at the Royal Palace in Stockholm today. Mr Lofven presented his new government today. Photograph: Anders Wiklund/Reuters

Sweden’s new centre-left government will recognise the state of Palestine in a move that will make it the first major European country to take the st(...)

Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko said he would present a broad plan of social and economic reforms later today which would allow the former Soviet republic to apply for membership of the European Union in six years. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters.

Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko said he would present a broad plan of social and economic reforms later today which would allow the former Sov(...)

Iraqi SWAT troopers take part in an intensive security deployment during clashes with Islamic State militants, north of Muqdadiyah, in Diyala province. Photograph:  Stringer/Reuters.

Iraq has received “credible” intelligence that Islamic State militants plan to launch attacks on subway systems in Paris and the United States, Iraqi(...)

President Barack Obama meets with Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi during the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Photograph:  Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Barack Obama laid out a forceful new blueprint yesterday for deeper US engagement in the Middle East, telling the UN General Assembly the Is(...)