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The Levant

Pope Francis avoids the term Rohingya in Burma speech following meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi

Perhaps as important as what Pope Francis said during his key speech in Burma on Tuesday was what he didn’t say. Speculation had mainly circled around the question of whether the pope would use the term “Rohingya” to describe the country’s Muslim minority, which has been the target of a brutal military “clearance operation.” Rohingya Muslims are not officially recognized as …

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North Korea and Syria are growing closer: That’s bad news for the US

Closer ties between two of the world’s most acute political powder kegs — North Korea and Syria — are fanning fears of deeper cooperation on missile technology and chemical weapons. The longstanding bilateral relationship, which stretches back to the late 1960s, has prospered this year even as both countries face international sanctions. Syrian minister …

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Mugabe was relieved after quitting, Zimbabwean mediator says

Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe knew it was “the end of the road” days before he quit, and appeared relieved when he signed his resignation letter after 37 years in power, a Catholic priest who mediated talks leading to his ouster said Sunday. Fidelis Mukonori, who has known Mugabe for decades, said …

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Syrian Opposition Eager to Set up Joint Military Command Centre

Syrian opposition sources revealed that there are consultations between the opposition factions to coordinate a joint military operations room in the north of Syria, similar to that of the Fatah army. In the absence of details about the prospective project, in the shadow of the parties concerned and influential, the …

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Dozens killed in Egypt mosque attack

Militants bombed a Sufi mosque and fired on worshippers in the volatile Sinai Peninsula during Friday prayers, Egyptian officials said, killing at least 85 people in what appeared to be the latest attack by the area’s ISIS affiliate. The extremists attacked the al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, 25 miles …

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Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic push in Middle East seals both Syria’s fate and diminishing role of the US in the region

Exactly one year ago, Syrian President Bashar al Assad, with Russia’s help, was laying waste to the last rebel-held neighbourhoods of Aleppo. Cluster bombs and bunker-busters fell out of the sky “like rain”, one resident said at the time. Children mistook the bright lights of phosphorous munitions for fireworks. The …

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ICCROM 30th General Assembly

The 30th General Assembly of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) held from 29 November – 1 December in Rome, will provide a platform to stimulate dialogue on sustainable approaches to the reconstruction of destroyed and damaged historic cities. Delegations of ICCROM’s …

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Iran leader: Talks to help stabilize Syria

The Latest on Syria talks (all times local): 6:25 p.m. Turkey’s president says trilateral talks with the leaders of Russia and Iran have critical importance for bringing peace to Syria. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking after Wednesday’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the Russian Black Sea resort of …

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