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Assad Urges Pressure on Backers of 'Terror'

Syria's President Bashar Assad told a Russian delegation Sunday that "serious efforts" were needed to defeat "terrorists" and exert "real pressure" on their alleged backers, state media said.

Assad's statement comes days ahead of scheduled Moscow talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and a Syrian delegation on the possible relaunch of peace talks with the opposition.

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Biden Leaves Turkey without Breakthrough on Syria

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday wrapped up a key visit to Turkey without a breakthrough on military cooperation in the Syrian crisis but with officials confident the talks brought their positions closer.

During his three-day trip to Istanbul, Biden held several hours of talks with both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the crises created by the capture by Islamic State (IS) jihadists of swathes of Iraq and Syria.

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Arab League Meets Nov. 29 over Israel-Palestinian Tensions

The Arab League will hold an extraordinary meeting next week to discuss the situation in the Palestinian territories in the presence of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, an official said Sunday.

The meeting on November 29 comes as annexed Arab east Jerusalem is roiled by months of unrest, which has spread across the occupied West Bank and to Arab communities inside Israel.

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Syria Rebels, al-Nusra Attack Northern Shiite Villages

Fierce fighting pitted regime loyalists against rebels backed by al-Qaida on Sunday, after insurgents launched an offensive aimed at seizing two Shiite villages in northern Syria, a monitoring group said.

The villages of Nubol and Zahraa in war-battered Arbil province have been under rebel siege for a year and a half.

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Israeli Policeman Charged with Manslaughter of Palestinian Teen

A Jerusalem court on Sunday charged an Israeli border policeman with manslaughter in the May shooting to death of a young Palestinian during a West Bank demonstration.

"A charge of manslaughter has been filed against the defendant," a court transcript said.

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Iraq Seeks Jordan Training for Troops

Iraq is seeking Jordan's military support in training its troops battling the Islamic State jihadist group, the Iraqi parliament speaker said Sunday during a visit to Amman.

"We firmly believe we need the support of the Jordanian kingdom in training our security forces," Salim al-Juburi told a press conference.

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Kerry to Meet Saudi FM in Vienna over Iran

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal is due in Vienna later Sunday where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will update him on nuclear talks with Iran, a senior U.S. official said. 

Kerry will "meet with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal to update him on the (Iran) negotiations," the senior State Department official said.

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French Jets in Jordan to Join Fight against IS Group, Says PM

French fighter jets are due to arrive in Jordan soon to join operations against the Islamic State group in Iraq, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Sunday.

"The show of strength is continuing with the arrival of Mirage planes in the coming days," Valls said during a visit to the Niger capital Niamey, adding that men and equipment were already in place in Jordan. 

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Egypt Could Send Forces to Stabilize Future Palestinian State, Says Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in an interview published Sunday that he would be prepared to send troops to a future Palestinian state to help stabilize it.

Sisi, who begins his first European trip on Monday since ousting his Islamist predecessor, made the comments in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

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Denmark Confirms Citizen Shot in Saudi

Denmark on Sunday confirmed that one of its nationals was shot and wounded in the Saudi Arabian capital and said it was assisting the victim's relatives.

"We can confirm that a Danish citizen has been shot. We're giving consular help to the family," a Danish foreign ministry official told AFP.

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