Negotiators have lost contact with a group of nuns kidnapped from a Syrian town last year after their captors moved them, a source told AFP on Thursday.
The 13 nuns and three maids were kidnapped from the famed Christian hamlet of Maalula last year and transported to the nearby town of Yabrud, a rebel stronghold the army is fighting to recapture.
Egypt's interim president on Saturday issued a much-anticipated decree governing an upcoming presidential election that clears the way for a vote many expect will be won by the country's military chief.
Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has not yet officially announced he will run for president, but it is a widely expected move. After the Interim President Adly Mansour's legal adviser, Ali Awad, announced the move on state television, the election commission is expected to set the date for the vote in April, opening the door for candidates to run.
The persecution of Christians in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East should be one of the major issues in the 2014 and 2016 political campaigns, says U.S. congressman Frank Wolf.
"This ought to be the human rights issue for the 21st century. You look around the world and, for some reason, every time you go to these places, they always say 'Why isn't the church in the West advocating for us?'" the Virginia Republican told Newsmax TV's John Bachman on "America's Forum" Friday.
Egypt’s newly-appointed cabinet on Thursday approved a law aimed at regulating the country’s upcoming presidential polls. The controversial 59-article piece of legislation has to be ratified by interim President Adly Mansour before it goes into effect and sets preparations for presidential polls into motion. Mansour may send the draft back for further amendments if he chooses.
Qatar will not bow to demands from three Gulf states to alter its foreign policy, sources close to its government said, suggesting Doha is unlikely to abandon support for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Syrian Islamists.
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