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Iraq PM to Visit Syria Wednesday after Year-long Row

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is to visit Syria on Wednesday for talks with President Bashar al-Assad after a year-long spat between the neighbors sparked by massive bombings in Baghdad.

"Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is to start on Wednesday, tomorrow, a visit to Syria, our brother country, where he will meet his Excellency, President Bashar al-Assad, and Prime Minister Mohammed Naji Otri," it said.

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France: Option of UN Creating Palestinian State Cannot be Ruled Out

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the option of the UN Security Council creating a Palestinian state cannot be ruled out, in an interview published Sunday.

Kouchner told the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam that France preferred a two-state solution to be negotiated with Israel, but said appealing to the Security Council to resolve the conflict remained a possibility.

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Israel Allows 300 Druze Clerics to Visit Syria for First Time

Around 300 Israeli Druze are for the first time to be allowed into Syria for a religious visit after they were given permission by the interior ministry, the head of Israel's Druze community said on Thursday.

The visit will see a large group of Druze religious leaders travelling to Syria for a week-long visit during which they will tour pilgrimage sites and visit relatives there.

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UAE Revokes Planned BlackBerry Services Ban

The United Arab Emirates said on Friday that a planned ban on BlackBerry services that had been due to come into effect next week will not go ahead.

"BlackBerry services will carry on as usual and will not be suspended on October 11," said a statement from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) carried by the state WAM news agency.

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Assad, Hakim Call for Iraqi Unity Government

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a joint call on Tuesday with visiting Iraqi Shiite leader Ammar al-Hakim for a national unity government to be formed in Iraq.

Assad and Hakim discussed "the ongoing dialogue between the various parliamentary blocs to find a solution to the formation of an Iraqi government," the official Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

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Report: Adib al-Alam Gathered Info on Alleged Syrian Nuclear Reactor Site

Lebanese Mossad agent Adib al-Alam has gathered information on an alleged Syrian nuclear reactor site in Deir al-Zour that Israel bombed in September 2007, a security source told al-Liwaa newspaper.

The daily quoted sources as saying that former security services officer Brig. Gen. al-Alam transferred the info to Israel without specifying the nature of the data.

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Security Council Extends UNIFIL Mandate, Condemns Tensions, Urges Israel to Pull Out of Ghajar

The Security Council on Monday issued a new condemnation of tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border as it renewed the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon without changes to its rules of engagement.

In a unanimous resolution, the Council said it had determined that "the situation in Lebanon continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security" and had therefore decided to extend UNIFIL's mandate until 31 August 2011.

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International Court Reports Bashir in Kenya to UN Security Council

The International Criminal Court said Friday that it was reporting indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's visit to Kenya to the UN Security Council, so that appropriate steps might be taken.

Bashir attended a ceremony in Nairobi Friday to adopt a new constitution for Kenya despite warrants for his arrest issued by the ICC on charges of genocide and war crimes by the ICC.

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Iraq Suicide Bomber Kills Four at Al-Arabiya TV Offices

A suspected al-Qaida suicide bomber blew up a car by the Baghdad offices of Al-Arabiya television killing four people on Monday, a month after the Saudi-funded channel was warned of insurgent threats.

The bomber struck at around 9:30 am (0630 GMT) in front of the station's bureau in the city center, leaving a massive crater and sending a plume of smoke into the air that could be seen from several kilometers away.

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