Syria's Bashar al-Assad will remain president and lead any transition agreed upon in Geneva peace talks planned for next month, a government minister has insisted.
The Shia Lebanese armed group Hezbollah has announced that one of its commanders was killed outside his house in Beirut, and an Israeli official denied accusations of being behind the assasination.
Iran's top diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has traveled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for talks with the nation's leader in another attempt to reach out to Gulf neighbours.
The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah has accused Saudi Arabia of being behind last month's two suicide bombings that targeted the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.
An estimated 250,000 people in besieged communities in Syria remain beyond the reach of aid, the UN, humanitarian chief has said in a closed-door Security Council briefing that one member called "chilling."
A Bahraini court has rejected a request by a human rights advocate that he be freed after serving three-quarters of a prison term for taking part in unlicensed protests.
Five Arab countries are ranked among the top 10 most corrupt nations, according to Transparency International's newly released annual Corruption Perceptions Index, as instability in the region has profound effects on governance.
Armed men have assaulted a mayor's office in a Sunni town just north of Baghdad, one of several attacks across Iraq that killed 19 people, according to officials.
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