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U.S. Urges Turkey to Defuse Row with Israel

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton here on Monday urged Turkey to defuse tension and repair strategic ties with Israel as Washington values them both as allies, U.S. officials said.

Washington has expressed mounting concern about the bitter row between Turkey and Israel over a May 2010 Israeli commando raid on an aid flotilla heading to the Gaza Strip that left nine Turks dead.

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Turkey Would Consider U.S. Proposal for Nuclear Power Plant

Turkey's energy minister said Monday Ankara would consider a proposal from the United States to build a nuclear power plant in the country's north.

"If a proposal comes from the United States, we could evaluate it but so far, no concrete proposal has been made to us," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters.

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U.S. Support Cyprus Right to Explore for Energy

The United States supports "the right" of Cyprus to explore for energy, a senior U.S. official said Monday after U.S.-Turkish talks amid a dispute between Turkey and Cyprus over such exploration.

The official also told reporters on condition of anonymity that the dispute should "not interfere" with talks aimed at resolving the political issues over the divided island of Cyprus.

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U.S. Slams Iran at U.N. Atomic Agency Meeting

The United States took a renewed swipe at Iran Monday, telling the annual gathering of the U.N. atomic agency Tehran was creeping "still closer" to producing nuclear weapons-grade uranium.

"Iran has continued to engage in a longstanding pattern of denial, deceit and evasion," U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu told the 151-nation International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) general conference in Vienna.

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Saudi King Discusses Yemen Crisis with Saleh

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah met Monday embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to discuss deadly clashes that killed dozens in Sanaa, the official Saudi news agency said.

The meeting was the first since Saleh went to Saudi Arabia for treatment after being wounded in an attack on his Sanaa compound in June.

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Abbas Tells Ban Palestinian Statehood Bid to Come Friday

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas officially told U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon that he would be submitting an application for membership in the global body on Friday, a U.N. spokesman said Monday.

Abbas and Ban also discussed international efforts to avoid a showdown over the bid in a meeting hours after the Palestinian leader's arrival in New York on Monday to make the bid for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.

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Amnesty: Stop the Killing or Risk Civil War in Yemen

Amnesty International said on Monday that the authorities in Yemen must stop killing anti-regime protesters immediately or risk civil war.

"The Yemeni authorities must immediately stop the killing of peaceful protesters by security forces," the London-based rights group said in a statement following reports that dozens of people have been shot dead in the capital Sanaa since Sunday.

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Palestinians Seek Date with Freedom at U.N.

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas Monday vowed to submit a bid for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state this week, amid warnings that sticking to the status quo could fuel "an explosion of violence."

Despite strong opposition from Israel and the United States, Abbas met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to tell him he would go ahead with the controversial move on Friday.

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Berlusconi Attends Court for Graft Hearing

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi showed up in court in Milan Monday for a hearing into claims he paid a lawyer 416,000 Euros ($600,000) for false testimony about his business dealings.

The embattled Berlusconi, who faces a string of other court cases, is alleged to have paid the money to his former British lawyer David Mills for false testimony in a case dating back to the 1990s.

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PLO Council in Show of Support for Abbas at U.N.

Members of the Palestinian parliament in exile met in Ramallah on Monday to show support for the campaign to seek full membership in the United Nations, a senior official said.

Some 50 members of the Palestinian National Council, which has 669 seats and represents Palestinians worldwide, met at al-Amari refugee camp.

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