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Yemen Opposition to Form Anti-Saleh Coalition

Yemen's opposition is to form a coalition to unite its various strands ahead of the return of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is hospitalized in Saudi Arabia, a spokesman said Wednesday.

A preparatory committee on Tuesday night approved the creation of a "national coalition council," Ahmed al-Sabri, the spokesman for the committee, told Agence France Presse.

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Netanyahu Says Israel Ready to Talk in Jerusalem, Ramallah

Israel is willing to hold peace talks with the Palestinians immediately, in Jerusalem or even Ramallah, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in excerpts of an interview released on Wednesday.

Speaking to Arabic-language television station al-Arabiya, Netanyahu also denied that Israel wanted to see Syrian President Bashar Assad remain in power, and acknowledged that he had held secret peace talks with Damascus in the past.

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France Says Gadhafi Could Stay in Libya if Quits Politics

France accepts Moammar Gadhafi could stay in Libya if he quits politics, under a ceasefire deal to end a conflict with rebels backed by Paris, the French foreign minister said on Wednesday.

"One of the possibilities being considered is that he stay in Libya but on the clear condition that he steps aside from Libyan political life," the minister, Alain Juppe, told LCI television.

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Israeli Warplanes Raid Gaza Strip

The Israeli air force carried out a raid on the Gaza Strip early Wednesday in retaliation for Palestinian rocket attacks, a military spokeswoman said.

Warplanes attacked "a target situated in the north of the Gaza Strip in retaliation for rockets fired in the past few days against Israeli territory", she told Agence France Presse.

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Mubarak 'Stable', Despite Losing Consciousness

Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak's health is stable, but he has an abnormal heart rhythm and sometimes falls unconscious, the official MENA news agency reported on Tuesday.

The ex-president, 83, is under arrest on murder and corruption charges in a hospital in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

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'Nightmare' in Homs as Death Toll Rises to 50

Activists on Tuesday accused Syrian forces of trying to sow sectarian strife in the flashpoint city of Homs, where the death toll climbed to around 50 in four days and a pro-government daily called for dialogue to end the "nightmare."

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 13 civilians were shot dead by security forces on Monday and Tuesday in Homs, after a bloody weekend that saw 30 people killed in the central city.

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Turkish PM Wishes to Visit Gaza

Turkey's prime minister said on Tuesday he was considering visiting the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, a move likely to anger Israel amid diplomatic efforts to overcome already strained bilateral ties.

"If the conditions allow, I'm thinking of visiting Gaza," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters. "The foreign ministry will be working on it. I wish to make such a visit, depending on the outcome."

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France Urges Israel to Act Responsibly aboard Gaza Yacht

France called Tuesday for Israel to act responsibly towards pro-Palestinian activists aboard a French yacht boarded by Israeli troops as it tried to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

"We've told the Israeli authorities over the last few days that if this French boat tried to break the blockade and if the Israeli authorities decided to stop it, we expect them to act with responsibility and moderation, respecting all our citizens' rights and allowing their prompt return to France," foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told journalists.

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Israel Likely to Apologize to Turkey over Flotilla Raid

Israel will probably soon apologize to Turkey for a 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla which left nine Turkish activists dead, a senior Turkish diplomat said Tuesday.

"I would be surprised if there were no apologies since both sides have the political will to resolve this crisis," said ambassador Ozdem Sanberk, a member of the U.N. panel probing the Israeli raid.

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Iraq Kurds Demand Iran Respect Border after Clashes

Iran must respect its borders with Iraq, authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan said on Tuesday, after Tehran's forces clashed with Iranian Kurdish rebels, leaving several dead.

Iran said it had taken "full control" of three camps belonging to the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, a claim disputed by Baghdad.

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