IRAQ AND IRAN AGREE TO BOOST TIES IN HIGH-LEVEL MEETINGS

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Iraq and Iran have agreed to strive for improved bilateral relations as Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein met with several Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, to discuss security, trade, and the role of the United States in the region. The summit was the first meeting between the two nations since July. The July meeting…

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US UNVEILS NEW IRAN SANCTIONS TARGETING ARMS SALES

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By Donnelly McCleland and Dr Daniel Shayesteh The US has imposed new sanctions on Iran after other powers rejected its demand to reinstate UN measures that were lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal. US President Donald Trump issued an executive order that opens up foreign governments and companies to economic penalties if they sell weapons…

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SAUDI ARABIA EAGER TO ACHIEVE FAIR SOLUTION FOR PALESTINIANS

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In a phone call on Sunday 6 September, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman told US President Donald Trump that the kingdom was eager to achieve a fair and permanent solution to the Palestinian issue.  The conversation between the two leaders comes a month after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel announced they had reached an…

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ISRAEL AND THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES REACH DEAL TO NORMALISE RELATIONS

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On Thursday 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced that Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had reached a deal to normalise relations between the two Middle East nations. President Trump helped broker the deal that sees the UAE become only the third Arab nation, after Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) to sign a…

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YEMENI SEPARATISTS SEIZE ISLAND OF SOCOTRA

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The Southern Transitional Council (STC), a group of Yemeni separatists, has taken control of the island of Socotra, ousting its governor in an action the Saudi-backed government described as a coup. The STC claimed control of the southern part of Yemen in April, complicating efforts towards a permanent ceasefire, in a war that has dragged…

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ISLAMISTS TIGHTEN THEIR GRIP ON STRATEGIC LIBYA

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By Donnelly McCleland Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar called on his forces on Saturday [23 May] to rally against Turkey, which has helped his Tripoli-based rivals turn the tide of a military conflict around the capital. Recent advances by forces aligned with the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), including the seizure of a key…

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SEPARATISTS DECLARE AUTONOMOUS RULE IN SOUTHERN YEMEN

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The Southern Transitional Council (STC), a group of Yemeni separatists, has claimed autonomous rule in multiple southern provinces in Yemen. The claim to power is in violation of the Riyadh Agreement, a power-sharing deal signed in November 2019 between the separatists and the Yemeni government. The deal included an agreement to reorganise the government and…

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HEADLINE MAKERS: POPE FRANCIS – FIRST PONTIFF TO VISIT THE ARABIAN PENINSULA

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By Donnelly McCleland and Mike Burnard Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century. This is the first time that a pope has been named Francis. Quote: “Jesus…

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HISTORIC MEETING BETWEEN POPE AND INFLUENTIAL MUSLIM LEADERS

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By Mike Burnard The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb, and Pope Francis signed on Monday [4 February] a document on human fraternity at the end of the Global Conference of Human Fraternity, which was held in Abu Dhabi, in the UAE. The Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together seeks to…

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