Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday he hoped peace talks with Israel would restart this year although the chances of a resumption seemed slim.
Increasingly under pressure by rebels intent on unseating him, Bashar al-Assad has considered using chemical weapons against his enemies but Washington and Moscow have formed an unlikely alliance to force him to abandon such plans.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that Moscow already has recognized a Palestinian state.
Russia, which built Iran's first nuclear power station, said on Thursday it might help the Islamic Republic construct more atomic plants -- dangling a carrot in front of Tehran amid tense diplomacy over its nuclear programme.
With talk of a new Cold War in the offing following Russia's recent military successes in Georgia, Israel is worried Russia might reassess this policy and use the sale of new weaponry to Syria -- or the threat of it -- to strengthen Russia's hand vis-à-vis Israel's primary ally, the United States.
As Russia occupied Georgia, pushing ever closer to the capital Tbilisi and bisecting the country, the relief effort for nearly two weeks has had only one prime directive: Find every Jew.
As the conflict between Georgia and Russia moved toward an uneasy stalemate Tuesday, the migration of refugees away from the devastated capital of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia spread farther and more Jews emerged from the fog of war.
Fending off a hailstorm of Israeli criticism -- as well as a possible showdown with Washington -- Russia insisted it only wanted to help tame Hamas.