Top news: Syria's opposition coalition indicated for the first time on Monday that it is willing to engage in dialogue with President Bashar al-Assad in order to end the 23-month-long conflict. The initial offer from opposition leader Sheik Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib did not have the full backing of the coalition, but rank-and-file members have since fallen into line behind the proposal, which would allow Assad to avoid prosecution if he leaves the country peacefully.
Khatib said the opposition would engage in dialogue only if the president released 160,000 political prisoners and renewed all passports of Syrian's living abroad, including those who oppose Assad. "We say we will extend our hand for the interest of people and to help the regime leave peacefully," Khatib said in an interview with Al Jazeera Monday. "It is now in the hands of the regime."
Also on Monday, rebels freed two Russians and an Italian in exchange for members of the opposition being held by the Syrian government. The foreigners had been captured on Dec. 12 as they travelled from Homs to a Russian military outpost on the port of Tartus.
Iran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Cairo Tuesday, marking the first time an Iranian president has set foot in Egypt since 1979. Ahmadinejad will meet with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, head al-Azhar mosque and university, at an Islamic summit that begins Wednesday.
- An Iraqi suicide bomber attacked a government-backed militia on Monday, killing at least 22 people in the town of Taji, roughly 12 miles north of Baghdad.
- A new video allegedly showed Syrian rebels executing four men accused of collaborating with government forces.
- A spokesman for the EU's foreign policy chief said Tuesday that the United States, Russia, China, France. Britain, and Germany will hold a new round of nuclear talks with Iran on Feb. 26.
- Suspected Nigerian pirates hijacked a French-owned oil tanker off the coast of Abidjan and took its 17 crew members hostage.
- South Africa increased wages for farm workers by 52 percent following a violent strike in the Western Cape region.
- South Sudanese troops failed to withdraw from the border with Sudan in time for Monday's deadline to create a buffer zone between the two states.
- The government of Myanmar held peace talks with members of the rebel Kachin Independence Army in China on Monday.
- The U.S. military lifted a ban on Kam Air, a major Afghan airline that was suspected of smuggling drugs.
- Malala Yousufzai, a 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban last October, said in a video statement that she is recovering and remains focused on fighting for girls' education.
- National Liberation Army rebels in Colombia said Monday that they captured two foreigners who are thought to be from Germany.
- The lower chamber of the Brazilian Congress elected Henrique Alves as its speaker on Monday, despite the fact that he is currently under investigation for corruption.
- Argentina announced a price freeze on supermarket items Monday in an effort to curb inflation, which economists estimate could reach as high as 30 percent this year.
- A Greek prosecutor ordered an investigation into allegations of police brutality Monday after authorities released digitally altered mug shots of four bank robbers.
- Two Serbian children were injured in the northern Kosovo town of Mitrovica after a hand grenade was apparently lobbed at their home.
- Rev. Justin Welby was sworn in as the new archbishop of Canterbury on Monday in a ceremony at St. Paul's cathedral in London.