US secretary of state John Kerry with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton before their meeting with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Geneva this evening. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry said today that important gaps needed to be bridged in high-stakes talks with Iran on curbing its nuclear programme -(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry is to join the talks on Iran’s nuclear programme in Geneva today. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Israel utterly rejects a mooted world powers deal with Iran aimed at ending a long-running row over its nuclear ambitions and will not be bound by suc(...)

 An Israeli ministerial committee headed by prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu yesterday voted for the release of 26 veteran Palestinian militants. Photograph: Reuters/Lior Mizrahi

Israel is due to set free 26 veteran Palestinian militants tomorrow despite bitter opposition from some right-wing ministers.A ministerial committee h(...)

A man stands on the rubble of buildings damaged by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in the besieged area of Homs. Photograph: Reuters/Yazan Homsy

While much world attention has unsurprisingly been focused on the sound and fury coming out of Washington over the debt ceiling and the possible defau(...)

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (left) laughs with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the start of two days of closed-door nuclear talks at the United Nations offices in Geneva today. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/Pool/Reuters

Iran said it presented “logical” proposals in talks with six world powers in Geneva today aimed at achieving a breakthrough in a decade-old standoff (...)

Israeli border policemen detain a Palestinian protester as an undercover Israeli policeman walks by during clashes at Shuafat refugee camp near Jerusalem last week. Photograph: Reuters

The late Mary Holland once explained to me why she had changed sides on the Israel-Palestine issue after spending just a few hours in the region. She (...)

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov speaks to the United Nations Security Council after it unanimously voted in favor of a resolution eradicating Syria’s chemical arsenal during a Security Council meeting at the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York. Photograph: Adrees Latif/Reuters

Russia wants to revive plans for a conference on ridding the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction now that Syria has pledged to abandon its chem(...)

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at a meeting with United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

A row over the interpretation of comments made by Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani about the Holocaust illustrates the domestic sensitivity arou(...)

A Palestinian protester hurls a stone at Israeli troops during clashes after a protest, which was against Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails, in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah. Photograph: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are proving pointless and will not bear fruit without much greater pressure from Washington, a senior (...)

A Palestinian woman holds a poster depicting her jailed son during a protest calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in Gaza City today. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters.

Israel has today named 26 Palestinian prisoners to be freed this week under a deal enabling US-backed peace talks to resume. Palestinians said the tal(...)

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