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4 Syrians Killed as Thousands Stage Pro-Assad Demo

Thousands of Syrians staged a rally in support of embattled President Bashar al-Assad in eastern Syria on Tuesday, state television said, as activists reported a counter rally in the same area.

Meanwhile four people were killed on Tuesday in violence in the protests-wracked country, including an army officer and a soldier who were shot dead by gunmen in the northwestern Idlib province, a rights watchdog reported.

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Erdogan: Syrian People Will Succeed in Their Glorious Resistance

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he believes the Syrian opposition will be successful in their “glorious resistance” to the ongoing government crackdown, Turkey’s English-language daily Today’s Zaman reported Tuesday.

Speaking during his Justice and Development Party's parliamentary bloc meeting on Tuesday, Erdogan warned that Turkey cannot remain silent in the face of the events in Syria.

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Russia Won't Allow Repetition of 'Libyan Drama' in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday his country would oppose a Libya-style military intervention against the Syrian regime which is battling months-long democracy protests.

"We have many questions ... after the U.N. Security Council adopted the Libyan resolution," allowing military intervention to protect civilian lives, and "after the Libyan drama," he said in Abu Dhabi, speaking in English.

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Syria to Respond to Arab Plan on Tuesday

Syria will respond Tuesday to an Arab League proposal to end violence between regime forces and protesters, an Arab diplomat said, a day before Arab foreign ministers were due to hold talks on the issue.

The Arab League official said Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem had asked on Monday for changes to the proposal, which calls on President Bashar Assad to end violence against protesters and begin talks with his opposition.

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Iran Seeks U.S. Apology over Plot Claims

Iran has sent a letter to the United States seeking an "apology" over allegations of an Iranian assassination plot on U.S. soil, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday.

"A letter has been sent... It is our right to seek the official apology of the Americans in protest of this made-up scenario as these allegations are not true at all," Mehmanparast told a news conference, quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

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Israel Inner Cabinet Meets over UNESCO Vote

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called a meeting of his inner cabinet on Tuesday to consider a response to UNESCO's decision to admit Palestine, officials and local media said.

Israeli media said the so-called Forum of Eight would meet on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a response to UNESCO's decision a day earlier to admit Palestine as a full member despite U.S. and Israeli objections.

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Qatar to Hold Maiden Legislative Polls in 2013

Qatar will hold its maiden legislative polls in 2013, the emir of the Gulf state, which has backed pro-democracy uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world, said on Tuesday.

"We have decided to organize elections for Majlis al-Shura (consultative council) in the second half of 2013," Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani said addressing the all-appointed council, QNA state news agency reported.

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Report: New Signs of Syria-Pakistan Nuclear Tie

U.N. investigators have identified a previously unknown complex in Syria that bolsters suspicions that the Syrian government worked with A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, to acquire technology that could be used to make nuclear arms.

The buildings in northwest Syria closely match the design of a uranium enrichment plant provided to Libya when Moammar Gadhafi was trying to build nuclear weapons under Khan's guidance, officials told The Associated Press.

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Saudi Frees 17 Activists Held in Protests

Saudi authorities have released 17 Shiite activists detained in anti-government protests earlier this year, but dozens more were still in jail, activists said on Tuesday.

"Some of the released detainees have already returned to their homes while others are finalizing their release papers," a human rights activist told Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity.

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U.N. Urges Libya to Act over Weapons Threat

The U.N. Security Council on Monday called on Libya's interim authorities and neighboring countries to stamp out the spread of weapons from Moammar Gadhafi’s huge stockpile.

Amid mounting fears that militant groups in Africa and beyond could get shoulder-fired rockets and other weapons from the Gadhafi cache, the 15-member council unanimously passed a resolution demanding the clampdown.

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