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Erdogan heads to Persian Gulf in hope of easing Qatar crisis

(afp) -- Erdogan will first meet the Saudi leadership in Jeddah before moving on to Kuwait and then visiting Qatar on Monday for his first face-to-face talks with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani since the crisis began. "No-one has any interest in prolonging this crisis any more," said Erdogan at Istanbul airport before leaving on the two-day trip. He accused "enemies" of seeking to "fire up tensions between brothers" in the region. Erdogan praised Qatar's behaviour in the crisis, saying it had sought to find a solution through dialogue. "I hope our visit will be beneficial for the region," he said. On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut ties with Qatar accusing it of backing extremism and fostering ties with their rival Iran. Doha denies the claim and has been strongly backed by Ankara throu ...

North Afghan districts fall to Taliban

(tasnim) -- They quoted government officials in northern regions as confirming that Kohistanat district in the province of Sar-e-Pul has fallen to the Taliban this morning after intensified armed attacks by the group. A number of provincial council members have blamed the fall of Kohistanat on lack of support from the Kabul government and police forces. It came after the town of Taywara in the central province of Ghor also fell to the Taliban. Meanwhile, security officials said on Sunday that the Taliban also captured Lolash district in the northern province of Faryab this morning after the militants launched attacks on eight towns in the province. Faryab police spokesperson, Abdulkarim Yoresh, said security forces withdrew from the center of Lolash district on Sunday morning when the Taliban intensified their offensive. He sai ...

British protesters hold anti-Israel rallies in London

(presstv) -- The demonstration on Saturday was organized by the Palestinian Forum in Britain, who said they sought to attract attention to Israel’s aggression in Jerusalem. Some of the protesters were holding placards which read “Save Al-Aqsa” and “Free Palestine,” while some others were shouting anti-Israeli slogans like “Israel is a terror state”, and “Hands-off Al-Aqsa.” They also burned Israeli flags. Tensions erupted in the occupied territories on July 14, when a fatal shooting happened outside the Haram al-Sharif which Jews call Temple Mount. Following the incident, Israeli police briefly shut down the al-Aqsa compound and canceled Muslim Friday prayers at the holy site. However, the compound was reopened on July 16, but with metal detectors and surveillance cameras put up at entrances. Meanwhile, protes ...

Hezbollah fighters retake 2 key Arsal areas, kill 69 terrorists

(presstv) -- The media bureau of Hezbollah Operations Command announced on Sunday the recapture of the Wadi al-Owaini and Shubat al-Qala’a areas. It also reported that 46 members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, had been killed in Arsal highlands, and 23 others in Flita barrens in Syria’s Qalamoun Mountains over the past three days. The Hezbollah fighters, backed by Lebanese and Syrian army, launched an operation to dislodge terrorists from the Lebanese-Syrian border on Friday. On Saturday, Hezbollah made a series of new advances, the details of which are expected to be announced later in the day. The Lebanese army said in a statement that Ahmad al-Fliti, the former deputy mayor of the border town of Arsal, was killed while on a mediation mission with militants. The offi ...

UAE, Saudi Arabia reject Qatari emir’s call for dialog

UAE, Saudi Arabia reject Qatari emir's call for dialog
Qatar last month dismissed a list of 13 demands put forward by four Arab countries, which asked the country to close down Al Jazeera television, curb ties with Iran and shut down a Turkish military base. UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash on Saturday welcomed Qatari emir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani's call for dialog, but said Doha had to make changes which he did not specify. "Dialog is necessary and needed but its backbone has to be revision," Gargash said as he expressed disappointment with the Qatari emir's first speech since the crisis began last month.  "I had hoped that the speech of Sheikh Tamim would be an initiative for revision," Gargash said of the remarks made on Friday. Sheikh Tamin described the blockade as "a pre-planned smearing campaign" and an act of aggression, while reasserting Doha ...

US lawmakers agree to impose new sanctions on Russia, Iran, N Korea

The measure will "hold them accountable for their dangerous actions," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement on Saturday. President Trump could veto the bill if it reaches his desk, but there is a chance that Congress could override his veto with a two-thirds vote. The Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act, passed by the Senate in June, was held up in the House of Representatives after Republicans proposed that North Korea sanctions be included in the bill. The House will vote Tuesday on a package of sanctions covering Iran, North Korea and Russia. The legislation would make it much harder for President Trump to try to lift sanctions against Moscow. Under the proposed bill, Trump is required to submit to Congress a report on his proposed actions that would "significantly alter" US foreign policy towards ...

Iran, Russia in talks on joint production of helicopters

(MNA) -- IAIO Director, Brig. Gen. Abdolkarim Banitorfi, told Mehr News correspondent on the sidelines of Russia’s MAKS air show on Saturday that the objective for participation in the event was to introduce Iranian experts and researchers with state-of-the-art aviation achievements in the world; “this year, we have a new approach, which allows us to display our own achievements on an international level,” he added. Various types of Iranian-manufactured aircraft, helicopters, drones and electronic devices have been put on display in Russia’s air show this year, he added. Banitorfi noted plans for carrying out joint research and design projects with European companies, adding “we have now stopped being merely a consumer and are seeking to export our aviation technology to the world, beginning with this air show.” About c ...

UNSC to hold urgent meeting on violence in Al-Aqsa

(tasnim) -- Diplomats said the meeting will be held behind closed doors. "Sweden, France and Egypt request UN Security Council to urgently discuss how calls for de-escalation in Jerusalem can be supported," said Security Council coordinator of the mission of Sweden Carl Skau on his Twitter account on Saturday. Three Israelis were killed on Friday in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian in a West Bank settlement. The attack followed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces in Jerusalem's Old City, in which three Palestinians died. In a statement released on Saturday, the Middle East Quartet -- Russia, the US, the European Union and the UN -- expressed concerns over the escalating tensions. "The Quartet envoys reiterate that violence deepens mistrust and is fundamentally incompatible with achieving a peaceful resolution of t ...

Iran, Iraq united in fighting terrorism in region: Minister

(irna) -- Dehqan made the remarks on Saturday in a meeting which was held after a ceremony to welcome Iraqi Defense Minister Erfan al-Hiyali who arrived in Tehran on Saturday. Iranian and Iraq ministers held talks on bilateral regional and international issues. He expressed congratulations over recent victories of Iraqi forces against terrorism and the liberation of Mosul as well. 'We believe that the victory has been the result of Iraqi people's courage and unity,' he said. He pointed to territorial unity and national integrity as the guarantors of stability, security and caring for the interest of all Iraqi people. Iranian minister also referred to some regional countries' support for terrorism and being accomplices to the US and the Zionist Regime in making the region insecure. He called for a regional and international co ...

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