Arab League

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Swiss police secure the area of the Montreux Palace hotel where the “Geneva II” international conference will take place today. Photograph:  Jamal Saidi/Reuters

US president Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin, sponsors of the Syrian peace conference convening in the Swiss city of Montreux tod(...)

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against the Jewish settlement of Ofra, in the West Bank village of Silwad, near Ramallah, yesterday. Photograph: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

The Middle East peace talks are in crisis.When Israel and the Palestinians agreed, under intense pressure from Washington, to relaunch direct bilatera(...)

United Nations peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi speaks during a news conference after meeting Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the Grand Serail, the government headquarters, in Beirut earlier this month.  Photograph: Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi insists there will be only two Syrian delegations – government and opposition – at the proposed US and Russian-sp(...)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a special Knesset (Israeli parliament) session yesterday. Photograph: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images.

Israel’s prime minister has abruptly halted a plan to explore the potential construction of thousands of new homes in West Bank settlements.Benjamin N(...)

US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman arrives for a meeting on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva today. Photograph: Reuters

The United States and Russia failed today to agree a date for a Syrian peace conference, remaining divided over what role Iran might play in talks to (...)

US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) leans towards Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu while speaking to the media at the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem, Israel, yesterday. Kerry sent a strong warning to Syria, saying “the threat of force is real” if it does not carry out an internationally brokered agreement to hand over its chemical weapons. Photograph: Larry Downing/AP Photo

Syrian reconciliation minister Ali Haidar has called the US- Russian agreement to assume control of and destroy the country’s chemical arsenal “a vict(...)

A supporter of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad gestures  near the US embassy in Lebanon. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has denied ordering an alleged chemical weapons attack said to have killed hundreds of civilians in the Damascus coun(...)

A supporter of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad holds a placard during her participation with others in “Over our Bodies”, a campaign to organise human shields against possible US strikes, at Qasion Mountain overlooking the capital Damascus. Photograph:  Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters

Tensions over the Syrian crisis spiked briefly yesterday when Russian radar reported that two ballistic “objects” had been fired over the eastern Medi(...)

A Syrian girl holds a sign during a demonstration on Sunday in Maaret al-Numan, Idlib province, northern Syria.  Photograph: Edlib News Network ENN/AP

  The Syrian government yesterday hit back at the US and its allies by asking UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon to “assume his responsib(...)

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad (centre) meets Alaeddin Boroujerdi (left), head of the Iranian parliamentary committee for national security and foreign policy, in Damascus yesterday. Photograph: Reuters/Sana

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad said yesterday that Syria would respond to “any external aggression” in response to US president Barack Obama’s decla(...)

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