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Israel Wants 30 'No' Votes against Recognizing Palestinian State

Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping to convince at least 30 countries to vote against recognizing a Palestinian state should the United Nations debate the issue in September, media reports said.

"Before we reach September, we have to push through an initiative to secure 30 countries and more who will say 'no' to the unilateral recognition in the U.N. General Assembly," the Israeli premier was quoted as saying by news website Ynet.

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Gulf Neighbors Vow to Press Yemen Mediation Efforts

Oil-rich Gulf states will press their efforts to broker an end to a political crisis in impoverished Yemen, the UAE foreign minister said on Tuesday.

"The unstable situation in Yemen is top of our agenda," Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan told a foreign ministers' meeting of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah.

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10 Libyan Shells Breach Tunisia Border

Shells and rockets fired during combat in battle-torn Libya breached the border with Tunisia on Tuesday, witnesses told Agence France Presse, one reporting a large Tunisian military presence on the frontier.

A resident told AFP he counted 10 shells that landed inside Tunisian territory, some of them north of the city of Oued Erouth in a district to the west of Dehiba, about 1.5 kilometers from the border.

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Clinton Says Iran Backing 'Vicious' Syria Crackdown

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday accused Iran of backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's "vicious assaults" against pro-democracy protesters.

"Iran is supporting the Assad regime’s vicious assaults on peaceful protesters and military actions against its own cities," Clinton said, comparing its response to Iran's crackdown on pro-reform protests in 2009.

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Canada Recognizes Libyan Rebels

Canada recognizes Libyan rebels as the "legitimate representative" of the people of Libya, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Tuesday.

The diplomatic shift came as parliamentarians debated an extension of Canada's participation in NATO's efforts to protect Libyan civilians from forces loyal to strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

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Fatah, Hamas to 'Finalize' Unity Govt. Next Week

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in Cairo next week to finalize a new government put together by the two factions, a top official of his Fatah movement said Tuesday.

The meeting was announced as Palestinian factions were in Cairo for reconciliation talks aimed at choosing a prime minister to head the unity government.

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Erdogan Calls Assad, Urges End to Crackdown

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Tuesday and urged him to stop a bloody crackdown on protesters and launch reforms, Anatolia news agency reported.

Erdogan told the Syrian leader to "refrain from violence and end the unrest" that has swept Syria since anti-regime protests erupted in March, the report said.

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Iraq's Sadr Asks Bahrain to Pardon Shiites

Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Tuesday called on Bahrain to pardon two Shiite protesters sentenced to death over the killing of two policemen in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

"I ask the government of Bahrain to grant an amnesty for the two young people sentenced to death for participating in peaceful demonstrations," he said in a statement from his movement's headquarters in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf.

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Jordan MPs Deny King's Motorcade Attacked

Jordanian MPs on Tuesday denied the king's motorcade was attacked with stones during a visit to a southern city, saying residents were jostling as they tried to greet the monarch.

"All what happened was that people and security forces were jostling as youths tried to see his majesty (King Abdullah II) and shake hands with him," MP Yehia Saud of Tafileh, 180 kilometers south of Amman, told Agence France Presse.

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6 Killed, Tanks near Iraq as Syria Faces Western Backlash

Six civilians were killed Tuesday and tanks were deployed near Syria's border with Iraq, activists said as President Bashar al-Assad came under sharp pressure to halt a crackdown on democracy protests.

The latest deaths came after fresh protests erupted in the eastern town of Deir Ezzor, a human rights activist told Agence France Presse, and troops pursued a scorched earth campaign in northern mountains, sending thousands fleeing.

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