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Syrian Political Detainees Call for Peaceful Demonstrations on Friday

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it received a letter from Syrian political detainees in Damascus Central Prison calling for peaceful demonstrations on Friday for the sake of “freedom, justice and equality.”

“The hour of truth has arrived and comprehensive change is the only choice left,” it added.

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Kuwaiti Cabinet Submits Resignation

The Kuwaiti government submitted its resignation on Thursday, State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Rudhan al-Rudhan told state news agency KUNA.

"The Kuwaiti cabinet submitted its resignation today at an extraordinary meeting," Rudhan said.

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France Not Planning to Arm Libya Rebels

France is not planning to arm rebels fighting to oust Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi because such a move is not compatible with a U.N. resolution on the conflict, France's defense minister said Thursday.

"Such assistance is not on the agenda because it is not compatible with resolution 1973," the U.N. Security Council Resolution that authorized U.N. members to intervene to protect civilians, minister Gerard Longuet told reporters.

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Britain Says No Immunity Offered to Libyan Foreign Minister

Libya's foreign minister has not been offered immunity after his surprise arrival in Britain, London said Thursday, while urging other members of Moammar Gadhafi's "crumbling" regime to quit.

Moussa Koussa, a former head of Libyan intelligence and one-time ambassador to Britain, arrived "under his own free will" at Farnborough airport southwest of London on Wednesday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

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NATO Chief Rules Out Arming Libyan Rebels

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday he opposed arming Libyan rebels, stressing NATO had intervened to protect and not to arm Libyans.

"We are there to protect the Libyan people, not to arm the Libyan people," Rasmussen told reporters.

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Kuwait to Expel Iran Diplomats for 'Spying'

Kuwait is to expel a number of Iranian diplomats for alleged links to a spy ring working for Tehran, reportedly since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the foreign minister announced on Thursday.

"There will be action against a group of Iranian diplomats ... They will be considered persona non grata and expelled from Kuwait," Sheikh Mohammed al-Sabah told reporters.

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Rival Yemen Demos Set Scene for Tense Friday

President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his opponents have set the scene for another tense Friday in a two-month-long showdown with calls for rival demonstrations in the Yemeni capital.

State news agency Saba said tribal chiefs, clerics, civil society figures, youths and supporters from the countryside were streaming into Sanaa on Thursday in response to the longtime president's call for a show of solidarity.

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Protesters Call for Demos across Syria

Protesters called for rallies across Syria after weekly Muslim prayers on Friday, upping the pressure on President Bashar Assad after he dashed hopes of an end to decades of emergency rule.

"Our date is Friday, from all houses, all places of worship, every citizen and every free man, to all squares, for a free Syria," said a statement posted Thursday on Facebook group The Syria Revolution 2011.

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U.S. Lawmakers Urge Support for Syrian Opposition

U.S. President Barack Obama should abandon his policy of engaging Syria and stand foursquare behind opposition to the government of President Bashar al-Assad, lawmakers urged Wednesday.

Republican Senator John McCain and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman said Obama's effort to engage rather than shun Damascus had "little to show for it" and declared it was time to back protesters against Assad's rule.

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Gadhafi's Foreign Minister Defects, Arrives in Britain

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi suffered a major blow Wednesday with the defection of his foreign minister even as his forces again proved too strong for the rebels' rag-tag army.

Gadhafi's forces overran the towns of Ras Lanuf, Uqayla and Brega, rebels reported, scattering the outgunned insurgents as world powers mulled arming the fighters to help them oust the Libyan strongman.

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