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MIDEAST FLASHPOINT
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Complex US-Iran ties at heart of complicated Mideast policy
AP Photo
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. and Iranian diplomats gather at a Baroque palace in Europe, a historic nuclear agreement within reach. Over Iraq's deserts, their militaries fight a common foe. Leaders in Washington and Tehran, capitals once a million miles from each other in ideological terms, wrestle for the first time in decades with the notion of a rapprochement....

UN Mideast envoy calls on Security Council for Israel action
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N.'s top Mideast envoy challenged the Security Council on Thursday to lead the way to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, suggesting it should present a framework for negotiations that "may be the only way to preserve the goal of a two-state solution."...

Iran, Saudi Arabia fighting bloody proxy wars across region
AP Photo
BEIRUT (AP) -- Airstrikes on Sanaa herald Yemen's emergence as the latest theater for the proxy war between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite-dominated Iran....

Amnesty says Gazan militants committed war crimes
AP Photo
JERUSALEM (AP) -- The human rights group Amnesty International said in a report Thursday that Palestinian militants committed war crimes during the 2014 Gaza conflict by killing both Israeli and Palestinian civilians using indiscriminate projectiles....

Yehuda Avner, Israeli diplomat and prime minister aide, dies
AP Photo
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Yehuda Avner, a former Israeli diplomat and aide to a string of prime ministers who turned his insider stories about the country's leaders into a best-selling memoir, has died....

Israel's Netanyahu takes conciliatory tone
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, struck a conciliatory tone on Wednesday as he was formally tapped to form a new government, vowing to heal rifts in Israeli society and fix ties with the United States following an acrimonious election campaign....

Palestinian premier heads to Gaza on reconciliation mission
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- The Palestinian Prime Minister kicked off a visit to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday in a renewed effort to resolve an eight-year rift with the rival Hamas militant group, which controls the tiny coastal territory....

Obama: Dim hope for end to Israeli-Palestinian conflict
AP Photo
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the U.S. is weighing whether to back Palestinian efforts to seek U.N. recognition for an independent state and that recent remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dim hope for a negotiated two-state solution....

Obama: Netanyahu statements don't clarify two-state solution
WASHINGTON (AP) -- An unconvinced President Barack Obama said Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to clarify pre-election statements rejecting creation of a Palestinian state still do not appear to advance the prospect of a two-state solution to Mideast peace....

Analysis: A divided Israel may seek unity government
AP Photo
JERUSALEM (AP) -- After a strong performance in last week's parliamentary election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to be cruising toward forming a new government of hard-line and religious parties. But in the smoke-and-mirrors world of Israeli politics, a centrist government more amenable to peace negotiations could easily emerge at the last minute instead....