UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that he would convene in Geneva on 22 January the long-sought international conference on Syria bringing together the Government and the opposition to a negotiating table for the first time since the conflict started in March 2011.

Iran and six world powers reached a deal on Tehran’s Uranium enrichment program. Obama praised the agreement as a first step that “achieves a great deal” in a peaceful way through diplomacy. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers the deal “a historic mistake” that endangers his country.

The United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the UN Security Council that around 9.3 million people in Syria or about 40% of the population need humanitarian aid. That means 2 million more people in need than in September.

The Joint Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – United Nations Mission confirmed today that the government of the Syrian Arab Republic has completed the functional destruction of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities and mixing/filling plants, rendering them inoperable.

President Obama will stop the NSA spying on allies, the head of US Senate’s Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, said in a statement after the scandal prompted by the news that the US spy agency intercepted German Chancellor’s Angela Merkel cell phone from 2002 along with 34 other world leaders. Too late. With this statement they admit it’s true. The trust is completely broken. The damage done.

Finally the long-delayed peace talks on Syria have a date, according to Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi. He said on Sunday international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi informed him that the talks will convene on November 23. Since may, when the conference was announced the situation has changed dramatically.

Saudi Arabia rejected its seat on the UN Security Council and said the 15-member body is incapable of resolving world conflicts.
The move came just hours after the kingdom was elected as one of the Council’s 10 non-permanent members for the first time in its history.