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Sudan Says It Armed Anti-Gadhafi Forces

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on Wednesday that his government armed Libya's victorious rebels in their eight-month uprising against Moammar Gadhafi.

"One part of the armament of the forces which entered Tripoli was 100 percent Sudanese," he said in the eastern city of Kassala where he was opening a new Qatari-funded road link to Eritrea.

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Arab League Holds 'Frank' Talks with Assad

An Arab League team held "frank" talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday at the start of a bid to mediate with the opposition.

"The meeting with President Assad was frank and friendly and we are going to continue our talks on October 30," said Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani.

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Jordan King Says Reform to Lead to Parliamentary Government

Jordan's King Abdullah II said on Wednesday that Arab uprisings had emphasized the need for political reform in the kingdom which would eventually lead to a system of parliamentary government.

"The sensitive regional circumstances and the transformations ... compel us to assert our firm conviction that public participation ... and unwavering commitment to reform are the only way forward," the king said as he opened parliament's second ordinary session.

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NATO Delays Decision to End Libya Mission

NATO decided to delay a formal decision to end Libyan air operations until Friday after Libya's new rulers asked for an extension and Russia demanded U.N. consultations, diplomats said.

In the wake of Moammar Gadhafi's death last week, NATO's decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council (NAC), had been expected to formally agree Wednesday to set October 31 as the date to end the seven-month-old air war.

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Rocket Kills 9 Syrian Troops in Hama

Nine Syrian soldiers, including an officer, were killed on Wednesday by a rocket, probably fired by army deserters, in the flashpoint Hama region, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"Nine servicemen, including an officer of the Syrian regular army, were killed by a rocket, fired by armed men, probably deserters. The soldiers were on a vehicle in al-Hamrat village, on the Hama-Salamiyah road," the Britain-based rights group said.

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Campaign Wants Egypt's Military Ruler for President

A new campaign has emerged in Egypt aiming to persuade Egyptians to elect military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi as the next president, despite almost weekly protests calling on the army to go back to barracks.

Tantawi heads the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) which took power when a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February, and has been criticized for stalling reform.

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Qatar Reveals for 1st Time that its Forces Joined Libya Rebels in Ground Battles

Qatar revealed for the first time on Wednesday that hundreds of its soldiers had joined Libyan rebel forces on the ground as they battled troops of veteran leader Moammar Gadhafi.

"We were among them and the numbers of Qataris on ground were hundreds in every region," said Qatari chief of staff Major General Hamad bin Ali al-Atiya.

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Quartet Envoys to Meet Palestinian, Israeli Negotiators

Envoys of the Middle East Quartet are to hold separate talks on Wednesday with Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in a bid to find a way to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table.

But the chances a breakthrough in the deadlock which has gripped the negotiations for more than a year look extremely remote with both sides taking very different positions on the conditions for restarting talks.

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Libya Interim Leader Asks NATO to Stay till End of Year

Libya's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Wednesday urged NATO to continue its Libya campaign until at least the end of 2011, at a conference of the North African nation's military allies in Doha.

"We hope (NATO) will continue its campaign until at least the end of this year to serve us and neighboring countries," Abdel Jalil, head of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), told the conference.

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Yemen Truce Fails, 19 Die as Saleh Says He Will Resign

At least 19 Yemeni civilians, government troops and dissident soldiers were killed in continuing violence in the wake of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's most recent pledge to resign, medics said on Wednesday.

The deaths, both in the capital Sanaa and in the country's second largest city, Taez, came after Saleh told the U.S. ambassador to Yemen on Tuesday that he would sign a Gulf-brokered power transition plan that calls on him to step down within 30 days.

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