Live updates

EU foreign policy chief calls Middle East peace meeting

The European Union's foreign policy chief has called a meeting of the Middle East Quartet peace mediators in Munich today in an effort to revive the peace process.

Federica Mogherini, EU high representative for foreign policy Credit: Wiktor Dabkowski/DPA/PA Images?

"We need a collective rethinking of our overall approach to the conflict. The Quartet will prepare for a resumption of the peace process, including regular and direct outreach to Arab states," Federica Mogherini told the Munich Security Conference.

The Quartet members are the United Nations, the US, the European Union and Russia.


Pope Francis arrives in Jordan for Middle East visit

Pope Francis has arrived in Jordan as he begins a three-day visit to the Middle East that will also include Israel and parts of the Palestinian territories.

Pope Francis is welcomed by Jordan's Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad. Credit: Reuters/Muhammad Hamed

During his stay in Jordan the head of the Catholic church will attend Mass in the capital city of Amman and also meet refugees from the Syrian conflict.

John Kerry joins Middle East peace talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry disembarks from his plane upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International airport. Credit: Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry is heading back to the Middle East for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders as peace negotiations hit a critical make-or-break point.

The US state department said Mr Kerry will travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories amid a flurry of diplomatic activity by American mediators, in the hope of salvaging the troubled negotiations and getting them to extend the talks beyond a current late-April deadline.

Charles to be welcomed to Middle East by Saudi prince

Prince Charles will be welcomed in Riyadh by Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, chairman of the National Guard when he arrives in the country later today.

His Royal Highness' second visit to the kingdom in my time here as ambassador exemplifies our wish to engage at the most senior levels and our determination to sustain the personal touch.

At a time of enormous turmoil and human agony in the Middle East, seen today perhaps most acutely in Syria, the Prince's advocacy of interfaith understanding and dialogue between communities is needed more than ever. His Majesty the King shares this deep concern.

I know that he and His Royal Highness will have much to discuss about the need for reconciliation and their hopes for the region's future.

– Sir John Jenkins, the UK's ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Prince Charles begins tour of the Middle East

The Prince of Wales will fly to the Middle East for a short tour. Charles's four-day trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar comes just under a year since he last toured the two nations.

Prince Charles. Credit: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The heir to the throne's tour has a large majority of private engagements. But highlights of his public events include a tour of an old Saudi Arabian city and in the Qatari capital Doha he will visit a leading museum.


Forensic team call for inquiry into Yasser Arafat's death

The Swiss investigators who detected enough polonium in the body of Yasser Arafat to kill him say there should be an inquiry into how the former Palestinian leader died.

Many Palestinians agree, but Israel has dismissed the idea as a conspiracy theory.

Radioactivity expert: Certainty of findings 'limited'

An expert in radioactivity measurements told ITV News that while he believes the scientists who concluded Arafat was poisoned did a "thorough and careful job" and considered factors that could impact their findings, the seven-year delay makes the statistical certainty of their conclusions "limited".

The number of polonium atoms which were initially present at the time of his death would have reduced by a factor of at least one million compared to what could be measured now, seven years later...thus any radioactivity from such a sample would be much harder to measure now compared to a time period closer to his time of death.

The measurements are further complicated by the fact that 210-Polonium is present in measurable amounts in the natural background radiation in the earth's crust and in normal, healthy biological materials such as human bone.

– Paddy Regan, Professor of Radionuclide Metrology at Surrey University
Load more updates