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Asiri Denies Saudi Arabia Interfering in Presidential Election

Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awadh Asiri said on Friday that his country intervenes in local Lebanese affairs, denying that contacts are ongoing between Riyadh and al-Mustaqbal movement chief Saad Hariri regarding the presidential poll.

“The kingdom doesn’t interfere with al-Mustaqbal or any other party” in Lebanese affairs, Asiri said in remarks published in As Safir newspaper.

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King Bids to Reassure Saudis as MERS Deaths Hit 85

King Abdullah was in the Saudi commercial hub of Jeddah on Thursday in a bid to reassure a worried public as the death toll from the MERS virus hit 85.

The Red Sea city has seen a spate of cases among health staff in recent weeks that have sparked fears that the virus has mutated to make it more transmissible from person to person.

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Jordan Amends Anti-Terror Law to Face Syria Fallout

Controversial amendments to Jordan's anti-terrorism law seek to curb the influence of homegrown al-Qaida affiliated jihadists fighting the regime of the kingdom's northern neighbor Syria, analysts said.

New articles added to the law approved by MPs on Tuesday deem "joining or attempting to join armed or terrorist groups, or recruiting or attempting to recruit people to join these groups" acts of terrorism.

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Qatar Says Dispute with Gulf Neighbors 'over'

Qatar's dispute with three fellow Gulf states, which withdrew their envoys from Doha last month, is "over", the Qatari foreign minister said Wednesday, while insisting his country had made no concessions.

"The statement issued in Riyadh on April 17 was clear ... For the brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) the dispute is over," Khaled Al-Attiyah told a press conference in Kuwait after a meeting with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah.

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Syrian Opposition Asks for More Saudi Aid

The head of Syria's main opposition group has asked Saudi Arabia to increase its support for the rebel Free Syrian Army, his advisor said Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia is one of the main backers of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad in a civil war increasingly seen as a proxy battle between it and regional rival Iran, a close ally of the regime.

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Saudi Announces 11 New MERS Infections

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced 11 new cases of MERS, including a 13-year-old child, as its acting health minister vowed to keep the public better informed on the coronavirus.

The new cases bring to 272 the total number of MERS infections, including 81 deaths, registered across the kingdom -- worst hit by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which was first detected in eastern Saudi Arabia in September 2012.

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MERS Death Toll Hits 81 in Saudi

The MERS death toll has climbed to 81 in Saudi Arabia, which sacked its health minister as cases of infection by the coronavirus mount in the country. 

A 73-year-old Saudi who suffered from chronic illnesses died in Riyadh and a compatriot diagnosed with the virus, aged 54, died in the port city of Jeddah, the health ministry said late Monday.

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Saudi Health Minister Sacked as MERS Toll Rises

Saudi Arabia dismissed its health minister on Monday just days after he visited a hospital at the center of growing concerns about the kingdom's handling of the MERS virus.

Abdullah al-Rabiah was named adviser to King Abdullah and replaced by Labor Minister Adel Fakieh, a royal decree carried by the official Saudi Press Agency said.

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Saudi Sentences Five to Death over 2003 Qaida Attacks

A Saudi court has sentenced to death five people over deadly 2003 attacks that marked the start of a wave of al-Qaida violence, media reported Monday.

Dozens of Saudis and expats were killed and wounded that year in car bombings that ripped through three residential compounds in Riyadh where foreigners lived.

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Report: Saudi Woman Defies Driving Ban, Husband Fined

A Saudi woman defied the kingdom's ban on female driving, getting behind the wheel of her husband's car before police detained the couple and fined the man, a newspaper said Sunday.

The 23-year-old woman was caught driving on Thursday in the Qatif district in Eastern Province, the Saudi Gazette said, adding police forced the couple to sign a pledge not to repeat the offence.

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