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Syria Contact Group Including Russia, U.S. to Meet in October

Russia and the United States are expected to take part in Syria peace talks in October, along with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt, Russia's deputy foreign minister said Monday.

A meeting of an international contact group of the "most influential outside players" will "be pushed forward to October after the U.N. General Assembly," deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov said, quoted by RIA Novosti news agency.

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Sisi Says Egypt in 'Ferocious' Anti-Terror War, Warns against Syria Partition

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said in an interview that the Mideast region needs to cooperate to defeat a worsening terrorist threat that has led to a "ferocious war" in Egypt and created the danger of some countries "sliding into failure."

In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press Saturday night, al-Sisi also said that Syria should not be divided after its civil war, that the Egyptian military needs to be "augmented" to defeat terrorists fighting in the Sinai and Western Desert, and that efforts should be renewed to solve the Palestinian issue and expand Egypt's nearly 40-year-peace with Israel to include more Arab countries.

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Egypt Leader Defends 'Security Measures' along Gaza Border

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday said the security measures taken by his country along the border with Gaza were not aimed at "harming" Palestinians.

"The measures taken by Egypt to secure its eastern borders are in full coordination with the Palestinian Authority and cannot have the aim of harming our Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip," Sisi was quoted as saying in a statement sent by his office.

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Sinai Bombing Kills Two Egypt Police

Two Egyptian policemen were killed in a roadside bombing in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, the interior ministry said, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

The ministry said 16 policemen were also wounded when the bomb hit their convoy in the north of the peninsula, where security forces are struggling to quell an Islamist insurgency.

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Salam to Attend Opening of Development Summit in New York

Prime Minister Tammam Salam was in New York on Friday to attend the opening of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015.

The summit is aimed at formally approving an ambitious and costly 15-year blueprint to eradicate extreme poverty, combat climate change and address more than a dozen other major global issues.

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Hamas Accuses Egypt of Flooding Gaza Border

Hamas on Thursday accused Egypt of further besieging the Gaza Strip by flooding the border area to the south of the Palestinian enclave, which is already under an Israeli blockade.

Egypt has been carrying out digging work in the area for several weeks that Palestinians believe is intended to flood the last remaining tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai, where jihadist fighters have been battling Egyptian forces.

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Famed Egyptian Satirist Ali Salem Dies at 79

Ali Salem, a famed Egyptian satirical writer whose works include one of the Arab world's most popular comedic plays, died Tuesday in his home in Cairo of natural causes, Egypt's state-run Middle East News Agency said. He was 79.

Salem's writings include 15 books and 25 plays. His most famous work was "School of the Troublemakers," a 1971 comedic play about a class of riotous teenagers reformed by a female teacher.

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Al-Jazeera Journalists Walk Free in Egypt after Sisi Pardon

Two Al-Jazeera journalists walked free after being pardoned Wednesday along with scores of others by Egypt's president, following criticism of his government for jailing opponents.

The release of Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and colleague Baher Mohamed was welcomed by their supporters, with Al-Jazeera saying it was "delighted" and Fahmy's lawyer Amal Clooney calling it "a historic day."

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France to Sell Warships to Egypt, after Russia Deal Scrapped

French President Francois Hollande said Wednesday Egypt had agreed to buy two Mistral warships which France built for Russia before scrapping the sale over the Ukraine crisis.

The deal is the second big military contract this year between France and Egypt, which Hollande said he increasingly views as a strategic partner.

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Egypt Military Winds Down Campaign against IS in Sinai

Egypt's military announced Wednesday it was winding down its largest campaign in the Sinai against Islamists, following a 16-day operation in which it said scores of Islamic State group jihadists were killed.

The army said the campaign in the Sinai Peninsula had "achieved its goals" in destroying militant hideouts and equipment, in joint operations by special forces, armoured divisions and the air force.

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