Middle East

Netanyahu: Israel wants peace talks but 'not at any price'

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks during cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Photo: Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, threatening to punish the Palestinians for unilateral moves towards statehood, said on Sunday Israel was willing to press on with US-brokered peace talks but not “at any price”.

Sunday, 6 April, 2014, 8:47pm

John Kerry spends birthday chasing Middle East peace pact

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at the West Bank town of Ramallah earlier this month, where he sought to salvage stagnant peace talks. Photo: EPA

US Secretary of State John Kerry marked his 70th birthday by preparing to leave again for Israel, in his dogged quest for an elusive Middle East peace deal.

But there will not be a gift-wrapped agreement awaiting him when he is due to land back in Israel on Thursday, a day after his birthday and less than a week after his last trip to the Jewish state.

12 Dec 2013 - 4:31pm

Israel, Palestinians resume peace talks amid settlement row

Palestinians prisoners released by Israel are greeted by relatives at the Palestinian President's headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Israel and the Palestinians are now resuming peace talks. Photo: AFP

Israel and the Palestinians are to hold their first direct talks in almost three years on Wednesday, overshadowed by a deepening rift over settlements and following the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners.

14 Aug 2013 - 12:54pm

Palestinians complain to Kerry about settlements

John Kerry. Photo: AFP

The second round of US-brokered Mideast peace talks will be held next week, the State Department said on Thursday, even as the Palestinians protested new Israeli settlement activity.

9 Aug 2013 - 9:39am

Kerry ‘determined’ to announce resumed talks, say Palestinians

This US State Department photo shows US Secretary of State John Kerry(L) as he sits with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before they meet and share a Iftar dinner during Ramadan in Amman, Jordan. Photo: AFP

US Secretary of State John Kerry is “determined” to announce resumed Middle East peace talks before he leaves the region at the end of the week, a Palestinian official said on Wednesday.

“There has been progress in meetings with Kerry after he presented his initiative to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in a meeting in Amman,” the high-ranking official said, requesting anonymity.

17 Jul 2013 - 5:37pm

Kerry on new Mideast bid as Israel stresses security

US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Photo: AFP

US Secretary of State John Kerry met late into Thursday night with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his latest bid to revive Middle East talks.

On his fifth visit in as many months, Kerry spent close to four hours at a “working dinner” with Netanyahu in a Jerusalem hotel.

The content of their talks was not immediately made public.

28 Jun 2013 - 9:46am

Beijing 'to increase reliance on Middle East oil'

A Chinese-operated oil rig in Sudan: China's imports from the Middle East, mainly fuel, hit US$160 billion in 2012. Photo: Bloomberg

China's dependence on Middle Eastern oil will increase in the coming years, while American dependence will decline, said speakers at the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission hearing in Washington last week.

10 Jun 2013 - 4:52am

Syria's civil war threatens to escalate into regional sectarian conflict

Hezbollah fighters attend a rally in southern Lebanon. Photo: AP

The Egyptian cleric was in a fervour. As Hezbollah's Shiite fighters helped Bashar Assad to crush Syrian rebels, he wanted to sound the alarm to Sunnis across the Middle East.

9 Jun 2013 - 7:18am

Hezbollah chief pledges victory in Syria, Assad's fall will lead to 'dark period'

A TV grab from Al-Manar television shows Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Photo: EPA

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah's comments offered the clearest public confirmation yet that the Iranian-backed group is directly involved in Syria’s war.

26 May 2013 - 2:47pm

Letters to the Editor, May 17, 2013

Lu Ping's appeal makes perfect sense. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Blame tycoons, not dockers, for social ills

Joyce Hung says that the logistics sector has been hurt by the dockers' strike and says we all have a responsibility to try to create a harmonious community ("'Success' for strikers has hurt society", May 10).

17 May 2013 - 3:17am 2 comments

China's new role as peacemaker

Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

Diplomacy does not have to be only for superpower countries, but having economic and political clout helps. China's offer to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians speaks of a new confidence and willingness to take a bigger and more responsible international role. With decades of US effort having achieved little, there has for some time been a need for a fresh mediator.

15 May 2013 - 3:06am

Behind China's Mideast peace gesture

Behind China's Mideast peace gesture

President Xi Jinping's "four-point plan" presented to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas is not original in content, but China's offer to enter the quagmire of Middle East politics is several steps removed from Deng Xiaoping's advice to keep a low profile.

14 May 2013 - 2:56am

China no longer passive on Middle East

Benjamin Netanyahu talks to Li Keqiang during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: AFP

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ended his visit to Beijing yesterday, analysts said China’s desire to play a greater role in Middle East affairs in order to expand its influence in the region had been conspicuous.

11 May 2013 - 4:57am 1 comment

China and Israel set up task force to boost trade

Premier Li Keqiang and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu review a guard of honour in Beijing yesterday. Photo: AP

China and Israel set up a task force yesterday to deepen economic co-operation and boost trade as Beijing seeks to expand its influence in the Middle East.

The agreement was reached during talks between Premier Li Keqiang and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Beijing.

9 May 2013 - 5:40am 1 comment

How China can help in the Middle East

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas review an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony held for Abbas in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

President Xi Jinping has made all the right noises about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It will have zero impact, though. Still, both sides to the conflict are happy to play along as their leaders make their pilgrimage to Beijing to meet the new Chinese leader. Why?

8 May 2013 - 7:47am 3 comments