Wednesday, March 26, 2008


* 'Russia set on Mideast parley, whether Israel likes it or not' Russia is determined to go ahead with an international Middle East conference in Moscow in June.

* Fresh clashes break out in Basra Fresh fighting has erupted in the southern Iraqi city of Basra and elsewhere, as Iraqi security forces battle Shia militants for a second day.

* Blair calls for rethink of Gaza strategy Middle East envoy Tony Blair said Tuesday that the international community must rethink its strategy toward Gaza.

* Lebanon not to attend Arab summit The Lebanese government has announced that it will boycott the Arab summit due to be held this weekend in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

* Putin, Mubarak sign agreement on nuclear cooperation Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested Tuesday that progress is needed before Russia can firm up plans for a Mideast peace conference.

* UN envoy: Gaza bombs keep ticking Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman warned UN Security Council members on Tuesday that the recent lull in Gaza was deceptive and superficial.

* Mubarak: Gaza tension brings Iran threat closer "The situation that has developed in the Gaza Strip in recent months has led to Egypt in practice having a border with Iran."

* Barak mulls weapons transfer to Fatah Defense Minister Ehud Barak is considering approving a US plan to allow the transfer of weapons, protective gear and night-vision goggles for Palestinian security forces in the West Bank.

* ANALYSIS: Keeping Iran away from 'members-only' Arab club Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's concern about Iran's involvement in Gaza does not stem only from Hamas' growing military capabilities.

* Religious leaders welcome Saudi proposal Several Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders reacted warmly to a proposal for dialogue among the religions by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.