Middle East and North Africa

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Exclusive - Trump likes two-state solution, but says he will leave it up to Israelis, Palestinians


WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he likes the concept of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, expressing his preference on the issue for the first time since sparking international criticism for appearing to back away from the longstanding bedrock of Middle East policy.

Pentagon plan to defeat Islamic State to look beyond Iraq, Syria

WASHINGTON A Pentagon-led plan to defeat Islamic State, due in draft form by Monday, will look beyond Iraq and Syria to include the threat from jihadists around the world fuelling the conflict, America's top general said on Thursday.

World, Syria, Iraq 5:58am IST

U.N. Security Council to vote on Syria sanctions over chemical weapons - diplomats

UNITED NATIONS The United Nations Security Council will likely vote on a resolution to blacklist 11 Syrian military commanders and officials over chemical weapons attacks as early as next week, diplomats said on Thursday.

World, Syria 5:22am IST

Syria's warring sides face off as U.N. tells them: end the nightmare

GENEVA Opposing sides in the Syrian war came face-to-face in U.N. peace talks for the first time in three years on Thursday, to hear mediator Staffan de Mistura implore them to cooperate to find a way out of almost six years of war.

World, Syria 3:17am IST

'Terrorist blast' injures woman in Bahrain - Interior Ministry

DUBAI A "terrorist blast" slightly injured a woman near the Bahraini capital on Thursday, the Interior Ministry said on its Twitter account, in the latest in a series of explosions in the small Western-allied kingdom.

1:43am IST

Portugal extraditing ex-CIA officer on condition of new trial - lawyer

LISBON Portugal is likely to extradite former CIA officer Sabrina de Sousa next week to Italy, where she was convicted in absentia for the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric, on condition she is retried, her lawyer said on Thursday.

1:31am IST

Investigators clear Saudi-led forces of 2015 attacks, blames technical fault for seven deaths

DUBAI A body set up by the Saudi-led coalition to investigate civilian casualties in Yemen said on Thursday a technical fault was responsible for the death of seven people in a 2015 air strike but cleared the alliance of other attacks.

World, Yemen 1:01am IST

Comics and music shows in Saudi Arabia draw rebuke from clerics

RIYADH A comic show and a recent pop concert have drawn rebuke from powerful religious figures and social media users in Saudi Arabia this week, highlighting the sensitivity of cultural reforms underway in the conservative kingdom.

Top News, World 23 Feb 2017

Bomb kills at least 10 in shopping district in Lahore

LAHORE, Pakistan A bomb blast in an upscale shopping centre in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore killed at least 10 people on Thursday, a provincial government spokesman said, the latest attack in a surge of violence that has shaken the country.

South Asia, World, Top News 23 Feb 2017

Iran says oil prices over $55 per barrel harmful for OPEC - Fars

ISTANBUL Iran said on Thursday an increase in oil prices to more than $55 per barrel was not in the interest of OPEC as it would lead to a rise in output by non-OPEC producers, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Budget 2017, Business 23 Feb 2017

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