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British PM, Saudi King Discuss Syria, Iran, Yemen

British Prime Minister David Cameron held talks with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud in Riyadh on Friday, as tensions soar between the West and Tehran, the oil-rich kingdom's arch-rival in the Gulf.

The two leaders "discussed the importance of the UK-Saudi bilateral relationship and agreed to strengthen cooperation in a range of areas," Cameron's office said in a statement.

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Activists: Saudi Forces Shoot Dead Shiite Protester

Saudi security forces clashed with Shiite protesters in the kingdom's oil-rich east at dawn on Friday, killing one person and wounding three, witnesses and activists said.

Security forces opened fire with live rounds after protesters hurled stones at one of their vehicles in the Shiite village of al-Awamiya in the Qatif region, witnesses said.

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Russia Refuses to Budge on Syria Sanctions

Russia said on Friday it strongly disagreed with changes to its draft U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria that are being promoted by Western states.

"Unfortunately, the West's approach radically differs from ours," Deputy Foreign Minister Gannady Gatilov was quoted as saying by Interfax.

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Khamenei: CIA, Mossad Behind ‘Cowardly Murder’ of Scientist

Iran's supreme leader has accused the U.S. and Israeli intelligence services of being behind the "abominable" assassination in Tehran this week of a nuclear scientist who was to be buried Friday.

The "cowardly murder" on Wednesday of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a deputy director of Iran's main uranium enrichment plant, was committed "with the planning or support of the intelligence services of the CIA and Mossad," said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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Britain Will Work with Newly-Elected Islamic Governments

British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday pledged to support governments elected in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, despite "legitimate concerns" over the rise of parties rooted in Islam.

Writing in The Times newspaper, Hague argued that the recent success enjoyed by religious parties did not mean the Arab Spring had turned into a "cold winter", warning that bad governance would again force demonstrators onto the streets.

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Syria Orders Probe into Death of French Reporter

Syria said on Thursday it would set up a commission of inquiry into the death of French journalist Gilles Jacquier, killed by a shell in the flashpoint city of Homs on Wednesday, official media said.

"The governor of Homs, Ghassan Abdul Al, issued a decision to create a commission charged with investigating the circumstances of the terrorist attack that cost the life of the French journalist and eight Syrians," the official SANA news agency said.

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Opposition Activists Carrying Aid Denied Entry to Syria

Authorities prevented a convoy of 200 opposition activists Thursday from entering Syria via Turkey with medical aid for victims of the ongoing uprising, an Agence France Presse reporter at the border said.

Some of the activists said they had traveled from as far afield as the United States and western Europe in order to join the so-called Freedom Convoy which included five buses and several cars.

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Paris Says Syria Arab Mission Still Crucial despite Resignations

France said on Thursday it respected the decision of some Arab League observers to resign from the Syria monitoring mission but said it remained crucial to ending repression.

Arab League officials confirmed that two monitors had quit the mission, including an Algerian who accused the Syrian regime of duping his colleagues.

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Syrian National Council Says Regime 'Liquidating' Journalists

The opposition Syrian National Council accused the regime on Thursday of "liquidating" journalists in order to hush up what is happening in the country, a day after a French reporter was killed.

The SNC's accusation came as France demanded an investigation into the death the previous day of Gilles Jacquier, 43, who worked for France 2 television, during a government-organized trip to the flashpoint city of Homs.

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China Envoy Meets Arabi, Says Monitors Face Tough Mission in Syria

China's envoy to the Middle East Wu Sike on Thursday said Arab League observers were facing "difficulties" in Syria, urging the government and other factions there to cooperate with the monitors.

Wu made the remarks after talks with Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi at the bloc's Cairo headquarters, days after three monitors were slightly hurt in the Syrian coastal city of Latakia.

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