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Erdogan Insists on Two-State Solution on Cyprus Visit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday visited breakaway northern Cyprus and pressed for a two-state solution on the divided island, on his first trip abroad since his inauguration.

Erdogan flew in on Turkey's new presidential plane, an Airbus delivered last week that has already been painted in the national colors and dubbed by the press as his "Air Force One."

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Rebels Seeking Special Status for Eastern Ukraine

Representatives of pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine are seeking a special status for the region, a report said Monday, in what would constitute a de facto division of the country.

Spokesmen for the groups based in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Lugansk told Russia's Interfax news agency they were submitting a joint negotiating position in talks being held in Minsk on Monday.

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Merkel Calls Anti-Euro Party Success a 'Protest Vote'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed on Monday an anti-euro party's success in a weekend state election as a "protest vote" but admitted her party must do more to address constituents' frustrations.

Speaking at her conservative Christian Democratic Union's headquarters about the poll in the eastern state of Saxony on Sunday, Merkel said voters gave the Alternative for Germany (AfD) a nearly 10-percent result to send the mainstream parties a message.

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Iran Convicts Ahmadinejad's Vice President

Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Iran's first vice president under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been sentenced to prison and fined, it was reported Monday.

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Abdullah Deadline Puts Afghan Election in Peril

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Monday issued another ultimatum over the disputed election result, threatening to withdraw from all efforts to negotiate a solution to the deepening political crisis.

Abdullah claims that fraud cheated him of victory in the June 14 election, and fears have risen of a return to the ethnic divisions of the 1990s civil war after his supporters called on him to form a "parallel government".

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Americans Detained in N.Korea Appeal for Help

Three U.S. citizens held in North Korea pleaded Monday for help to secure their release, urging Washington to send an envoy to the hardline communist country.

As government minders looked on, the three, who appeared tense, also said they had been well treated in the autocratic state.

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Bosnia Arrests 13 Serbs over War Crimes

Thirteen Bosnian Serbs, including former top police officials, were arrested on Monday on charges of involvement in the killing of Croats and Muslims at the start of the country's 1992-95 war.

The men were arrested in the northern towns of Doboj and Teslic where the killings allegedly took place, the state prosecutor's office said in a statement.

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'Up to 15,000 Russian Soldiers' Sent to Ukraine, Say Rights Groups

Up to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine over the past two months, and at least 200 may have died in combat there, rights groups told AFP on Monday.

Moscow denies that it has deployed regular troops to Ukraine to prop up separatists battling Kiev forces, but multiple indications have emerged over the past weeks that Russian soldiers are on the ground in Ukraine.

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Turkey Summons U.S. Envoy over Snowden Spying Claims

Turkey on Monday said it had summoned the U.S. charge d'affaires in Ankara to demand an explanation over a leak by Edward Snowden that Washington has spied intensively on Turkish leaders since 2006.

Der Spiegel reported that as well as sharing intelligence with NATO partner Turkey, the United States and its ally Britain have been conducting extensive electronic surveillance on the Turkish leadership.

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Lesotho PM Asks Regional Bloc to Send Peace Force after 'Coup'

Lesotho's exiled premier on Monday called on the southern African regional bloc SADC to send peacekeeping troops to his country, after claiming that the army had seized power in a coup.

Tom Thabane had fled to South Africa in fear of his life on Saturday. In his absence, a political rival told AFP on Monday that he had now taken over as acting prime minister of the tiny mountain kingdom.

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