World Bulletin/News Desk
Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi visited Qatar in the past week to discuss the fate of 48 Iranians kidnapped by rebels in Syria, a deputy foreign minister said on Saturday, according to Iran's Fars news agency.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian did not say who Salehi met while in Qatar, whose government is a major supporter of rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iran's closest ally in the region.
Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow Assad seized the group of 48 Iranians in August, accusing them of being members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards sent to help Syrian government forces crush the uprising which began in March last year.
Iran says the group was on a religious pilgrimage and has called for their immediate release.
"During this trip in addition to the developments in Syria, specifically the 48 kidnapped Iranian pilgrims in Syria were discussed," Amir-Abdollahian said, according to Fars.
Iran has called on Turkey and Qatar to use their links with rebel groups to help secure their freedom.
The al-Baraa brigade, part of the main rebel group, the Free Syrian Army, said last week it would start killing the Iranians within 48 hours unless Assad freed Syrian opposition detainees and stopped shelling civilian areas.
But Qatar, following a request from Iran, urged the rebels not to carry out the threat. Amir-Abdollahian said on Saturday the kidnapped Iranians were in good health.
Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, also visited Qatar this week, Qatari news agencies reported. Saudi Arabia is also supporting the Syrian rebels.
There was no indication of any link between the two visits.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will return to their countries for consultations on the Iran nuclear issue
Earlier this month, the state-run New Vision newspaper reported that an audit had been carried out at the Uganda Wildlife Authority that had revealed the loss of the ivory.
Boehner said House Republicans intend to fight the president's action, which was announced on Thursday, but did not detail a course of action.
Plans to resettle refugees in Cambodia questioned over country's poor record
Biden, in a statement to the press alongside Poroshenko, said Russian behaviour was a "flagrant violation of the bedrock principles of the international system."
Kiir arrived in Cairo on Friday at the head of a high-level delegation that includes the ministers of foreign affairs, electricity, irrigation, oil, education, health, communication, sports and culture.
Supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi appeared to support calls for planned mass protests on November 28, initiated by Egypt's pro-Morsi Salafist Front
Spain wants Gibraltar airport, which sits on the disputed land, to be excluded from EU aviation law until the debate is resolved.
Pakistan sees the latest round of Chinese investments as key to its efforts to solve power shortages that have crippled its economy.
Two presidential candidates appear to be the frontrunners in the upcoming polls – interim President Moncef Marzouki and Beji Caid Essebsi, who served as parliament speaker under Ben Ali.
Poverty in European Union 'extremely challenging' as almost half of Europeans outside bloc face poverty, according to reports
Israeli forces fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron.
In an audio message on websites, al AQAP's military commander Qassim al-Raymi called the Houthis "the new rented gun for the enemies of Islam".
The city centre remains under the control of Iraqi government forces but outlying neighbourhoods have been seized by the fighters.
The SEC cited a lack of publicly available information about their operations and separately warned that "con artists" may be soliciting investors and claiming to be developing Ebola treatments.
Prejudice against the Muslim minority is widespread in Myanmar, which says many have no right to citizenship, despite having lived in the area for generations.