President-elect Joe Biden names members of his Cabinet, appointing experienced foreign policy and national security experts to key posts in line with his pledge to restore US' global ties and standing as a world leader.
The breakthrough comes as Afghanistan battles a series of crises, including a rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus and surging militant violence that saw dozens killed in brutal attacks last week.
Afghanistan's perennial runner-up will not be content with second place this time.
The Harvard graduate is the first Pakistani and Muslim American to head up a major presidential campaign.
Arab states carefully deny any meaningful ties to Israel, but reality is surprisingly different.
US President Donald Trump's surprise visit to Afghanistan was a cutting image of how President Ashraf Ghani's government has become an afterthought.
President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran will continue to reduce its nuclear commitments until European parties to the pact save it by protecting Iran's economy from US penalties.
Oman's goodwill and relationships with the Muslim world and the West could prove vital, as they have historically, to ensuring that US-Iran tensions don't boil over.
Security crises in the Persian Gulf will become increasingly high-stakes as the lack of communication between Iran and the US and its allies can trigger misinformation, perceived threats and potentially military confrontation.
Mohammad Shtayyeh took the post of prime minister after the former prime minister resigned six weeks ago. The post comes with a tough mandate at a time when Palestinians have been completely sidelined.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif resigned late without warning, offering an "apology" to the nation as the nuclear deal he negotiated with world powers stands on the verge of collapse after the US withdrawal from the accord.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says his Obama-era predecessor John Kerry has been "actively undermining" US policy on Iran.
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