Data on the Muslims

NEW YORK: A report from an American think-tank has estimated 1.57 billion Muslims populate the world - with 60 per cent in Asia. The report, by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, took three years to compile, with census data from 232 countries and territories. It showed that 20 per cent of Muslims lived in the Middle East and North Africa. The data also showed that there were more Muslims in Germany than in Lebanon, and more in Russia than in Jordan and Libya together. Researchers analysed approximately 1,500 sources including census reports, demographic studies and general population surveys. Senior researcher Brian Grim told CNN that the overall figure was a surprise and said: “Overall, the number is higher than I expected.” — Agencies

‘Peace eludes W Asia’

PALESTINE: Israel’s foreign minister has said there is no chance of an early solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and told people to “learn to live with it”. Avigdor Lieberman does not lead Israeli peace negotiations, but his statement casts a pall over latest US diplomatic efforts to revive negotiations. Envoy George Mitchell is in the region, spearheading Obama administration efforts to re-launch negotiations. Talks are stalled over the issue of Jewish settlements on occupied land. Mr Mitchell is due to meet Mr Lieberman and Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on

Thursday, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Friday. — Agencies