A ship  passes through the Straits of Tiran into the Aqaba Gulf at the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh: the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir lie along narrow shipping lanes leading north to the port cities of Eilat and Aqaba in Israel and Jordan, respectively. Photograph: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA

An Egyptian court has rejected as “unconstitutional” a border agreement that would have transferred two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. The ruling (...)

French president Hollande  after his speech during the annual gathering of French ambassadors at the Élysée Palace in Paris on August 25th. Photograph:  Philippe Wojazer / EPA/ Pool MaxPPP

When French president François Hollande addressed France’s ambassadors to foreign countries, assembled in the red velvet and gilt reception rooms of t(...)

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in  Ramallah. Israeli forces pounded Gaza on Wednesday, meeting stiff resistance from Hamas Islamists and sending thousands of residents fleeing, as US Secretary of State John Kerry said on a visit to Israel ceasefire talks had made some progress. Photograph: Charles Dharapak/Reuters

As diplomatic shuttling intensified yesterday in an effort to secure a ceasefire to end the two-week conflict in Gaza, there was a public closing of r(...)