VOA News (Middle East News)

• Iran's Rouhani Criticizes Trump, Recent Saudi Summit
Iran's newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that Iran's relationship with the U.S. is a "curvy road," and called President Donald Trump's summit in Saudi Arabia this past weekend "just a show." Rouhani also said that stability could not be achieved in the Middle East without his country's help. "The Americans do not know our religion, that's what the catch is," Rouhani said in response to a question from AP. Rouhani...

• Trump Becomes First US President to Visit Jerusalem's Western Wall
U.S. President Donald Trump touched the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday, the first visit at the Jewish holy site by a serving American leader, and one that is steeped in the centuries-old conflicts of the Middle East. Trump, a Christian wearing a black yarmulke, walked alone to the massive stone wall after hearing a brief history of the holiest site in Judaism. He placed his right hand on the wall for about 30 seconds and then, as is custom, tucked a small prayer note into a...

• Clashes in Syrian City of Daraa Despite it Being 'Safe Zone'
Intense clashes broke out in Syria's Daraa on Monday between government forces and insurgents with both sides shelling parts of the southern city that has been declared a safe zone under a recent Russia-sponsored deal, opposition activists and state media said. Daraa, the site where Syria's crisis began in March 2011 with anti-government protests, is one of four "de-escalation zones" announced earlier this month during cease-fire talks in Astana,...

• Rouhani, a Man of the Islamic Revolution, Opens Iran to West
As Iran's chief nuclear envoy, Hassan Rouhani earned the nickname "diplomat sheikh" when negotiators in 2004 reached a deal that saw the Islamic Republic halt all its enrichment of uranium. Over 10 years later, it would be Rouhani as president who would strike a bargain with world powers to again limit Iran's atomic program, showing once more the cleric's pragmatism in slowly engaging with the West.   But Iran's contested nuclear program represents only...

• Trump, First Lady Visit Church of Holy Sepulchre
US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017.

• Boeing Co. Signs Defense, Commercial Deals with Saudi Arabia
Boeing Co said on Sunday it had signed several defense and commercial deals with Saudi Arabia including for the sale of military and passenger aircraft during a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to the kingdom. The announcement is the latest in tens of billions of dollars in deals signed between U.S. and Saudi firms since Trump arrived in Riyadh on Saturday. Boeing said Saudi Arabia has agreed to buy Chinook helicopters, associated support services and guided weapons systems, and...

• Trump Assails Iranian Aggression During Israel Visit
U.S. President Donald Trump assailed Iranian aggression and military ambitions as he arrived in Israel Monday on his first visit to the Jewish state as the American leader. As he headed into a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump attacked the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama for agreeing to the 2015 international deal restraining Iran's nuclear weapons program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions against Tehran. "Instead of...

• More Than 31 Million Internally Displaced in 2016
A watchdog organization says 31.1 million people were displaced in 2016 within their home countries due to conflict, violence and disasters.  The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) released a report Monday about the startling statistics. "In 2016, one person every second was forced to flee their home inside their own country," said Jan Egeland, NRC secretary-general.  "Internally displaced people now outnumber...

• Trump Making His First Official Visit to Israel
U.S. President Donald Trump arrived Monday in Israel, making his first visit there as a president who wants to revive the effort to achieve a long-sought peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump's travel from Riyadh to Tel Aviv was historic, with Air Force One completing the first direct flight between the two countries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin were among those gathered for a welcome ceremony at Ben-Gurion...

• Trump to Muslim Leaders: ‘Drive Out’ Extremists
Describing a war of “good against evil,” U.S. President Donald Trump called on Muslim leaders to stamp out extremism during a widely anticipated address in Saudi Arabia. Trump also laid out his plans for U.S. policy in the Middle East. More from VOA’s Steve Herman, who Sunday was with Trump in Riyadh on the first stop of his first overseas trip as president.

• Many Muslims Hopeful, Some Wary After Trump’s Saudi Speech
Many Muslims around the world reacted positively to U.S. President Donald Trump's speech Sunday to dozens of Arab and Muslim leaders at the Arab Islamic American Summit in the Saudi capital Riyadh. There, Trump called for Muslim unity in the fight against terrorism. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S.  But Sunday he outlined his vision for U.S.-Muslim relations and the need for Muslim countries...

• Trump Making First Official Visit to Israel
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday makes his first official visit to Israel, where he is determined to broker a long elusive peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump's schedule includes talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center. He also will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall - Judaism's holiest...

• In Israel, Trump to Pursue 'Ultimate Deal'
President Donald Trump has cast the elusive pursuit of peace between Israelis and Palestinians as the “ultimate deal.” But he will step foot in Israel having offered few indications of how he plans to achieve what so many of his predecessors could not.   Trump has handed son-in-law Jared Kushner and longtime business lawyer Jason Greenblatt the assignment of charting the course toward a peace process. The White House-driven effort is a sharp shift from the practice of previous U.S....

• At Refugee Camp, Trump Envoy Haley Vows More Aid for Syrians
His skull and jaw wrapped in bandages, the young Syrian refugee stared nonchalantly into a small black box at a supermarket in this sprawling, dust-swept refugee camp. The box scanned his iris to identify him, charged his account and sent him on his way.   If the boy noticed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley watching intently from just a few feet away, he didn't show it. But Haley would later tout the iris-scanners as a fraud-cutting tool boosting efficiency for...

• Last Rebels Leave Key Syrian City as Government Reasserts Control
Witnesses say hundreds of Syrian rebels and their families have evacuated the last opposition-controlled district in Homs, a key city in western Syria known four years ago as the de facto capital of opposition forces seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad. Homs Governor Talal Barazi told reporters the last bus carrying evacuees left the city's Waer district Sunday, adding that all armed fighters had departed, along with their weapons. Barazi told the state-controlled SANA news...


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