* Ahmadinejad: Israel, US plotting Iranian-Arabian conflict In public speech, Iranian president says he envisions new Middle East without presence of Israel, US and their allies.
* Libya: Gaddafi must step down, says 'contact group' The newly formed international "contact group" on Libya has called for Muammar Gaddafi to stand down as leader.
* Emerging economies face watershed moment at summit The leaders of the world's largest emerging economies gather this week in southern China for what could be a watershed moment in their quest for a bigger say in the global financial architecture.
* PA Wants $5 Billion to Launch State The Palestinian Authority is asking Western officials for $5 billion dollars to launch a state with.
* Foreign ministers wary of EU military role in Libya Foreign ministers have sketched out the basic outlines of an EU 'military-humanitarian' mission to Libya.
* PA: US must present peace plan before we declare state Abbas spokesman says plan to revive peace talks must be implemented with "an effective US role and strong policy against settlements."
* Barak: 'IDF is strong enough to conquer Gaza' In a Facebook interview with Channel 2, Barak says there is no need to attack Gaza, but Israel is prepared for the possibility.
* The Six GCC Members Want A Diplomatic, Military Confederation The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are discussing setting up a Gulf confederation.
* Kerry: Obama wasted time on settlement freeze Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry (D), slammed Wednesday President Barack Obama's efforts to advance the Mideast peace process.
* Palestinians hail international 'birth certificate' of statehood Donor countries meeting in Brussels recognized on Wednesday that the "Palestinian Authority (PA) is above the threshold of a functioning state".