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Iran dismisses allegations of meddling in US election

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Iran President

Tehran, Oct 22 : Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday denied allegations of interfering in the US mid-term Congressional elections.

“Iran’s policy is not to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said, reports Xinhua news agency.

In a statement published on the Ministry’s website, Qasemi said that attempts by the US officials to say that Iran had been involved in the US mid-term polls was a false allegation.

“The White House has for sometime been trying to raise allegations against other countries for specific political reasons,” Qasemi added.

US intelligence and law enforcement agencies on Friday claimed that foreign governments, including Iran, would try to influence US upcoming mid-term Congressional vote in November.

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Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah dies at age 91

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Emir Sheikh Sabah

Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, has died at the age of 91, state media report.

He is expected to be succeeded by his 83-year-old half-brother and crown prince, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed.

In July, Sheikh Sabah was flown to the United States for medical treatment following surgery for an unspecified condition in Kuwait.

He had ruled the oil-rich Gulf Arab state since 2006 and had overseen its foreign policy for more than 50 years.

He was dubbed the “dean of Arab diplomacy” for his efforts to restore relations with states that backed Iraq during the 1990-1991 Gulf War, when Kuwait was invaded by Iraqi forces.

The emir also often acted as a mediator in regional disputes, including the ongoing diplomatic stand-off between Saudi Arabia, its allies and Qatar.

Kuwait also refrained from intervening in Syria’s civil war, instead hosting several donor conferences for humanitarian aid.

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah (2nd right) stands beside Saudi Arabia’s King Salman (right) and Bahrain’s King Hamad (2nd left) at a GCC summit in Riyadh on 10 December 2019

Sheikh Sabah came to power in January 2006, after Emir Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah stepped down just nine days into his rule as parliament moved to depose him on health grounds.

He had been prime minister under the previous Emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, and for several years had been seen as the de facto ruler.

Before then, he served as foreign minister from 1963 to 1991 and from 1992 to 2003.

Kuwait – which has a population of 4.8 million, including 3.4 million foreigners – has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves and is a major US ally.

It has been ruled by the Sabah family for the past 260 years.

The emir has the last say in political matters. He has the power to override or dissolve parliament, and call elections.

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UK PM Boris Johnson raises concerns with Turkey’s Erdogan over east Med tensions

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Boris Johnson

LONDON : UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday that he was concerned about tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, welcoming news that Turkey and Greece had agreed to talks, Johnson’s office said in a statement.

NATO allies Greece and Turkey, at loggerheads on a range of issues, have agreed to resume exploratory talks over contested maritime claims following weeks of tension, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was beginning a two-day trip to Greece.

“The Prime Minister expressed his concern about recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. He stressed the need for calm and welcomed the news that Turkey and Greece have agreed to talks,” Johnson’s office said.

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Angered by Arab-Israel ties, Palestine quits chairing Arab League sessions

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Riyad al-Maliki
FILE PHOTO: Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki is seen during preparatory meeting for the GCC, Arab and Islamic summits in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 29, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

RAMALLAH, West Bank/GAZA: Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal relations with Israel.

Palestinians see the accords that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel in Washington a week ago as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.

Earlier this month, the Palestinians failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn member nations breaking ranks and normalising ties with Israel.

Palestine was supposed to chair Arab League meetings for the next six months, but Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah that it no longer wanted the position.

“Palestine has decided to concede its right to chair the League’s council (of foreign ministers) at its current session. There is no honour in seeing Arabs rush towards normalisation during its presidency,” Maliki said.

After initial remarks, Maliki read from a letter he said he sent to Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit informing him of the Palestinian move and criticising the UAE and Bahrain, both Gulf Arab nations that share Israeli concerns about Iran.

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The UAE’s deal with Israel “created a deep crisis in the Arab League” and the accord was followed “by a similar collapse by the Kingdom of Bahrain”, Maliki said, quoting from the letter.

In a new move addressing internal Palestinian divisions, officials from West Bank-based President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the Islamist Hamas movement were due to hold reconciliation talks in Turkey on Tuesday.

Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from Fatah forces during a brief round of fighting. Differences over power-sharing have delayed implementation of unity deals agreed since then.

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