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Saudis reasonably optimistic about Biden over Iran

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Saturday he was confident that Democrat Joe Biden’s incoming U.S. administration would pursue policies that help regional stability and that any discussions with it would lead to strong cooperation. Riyadh is bracing itself for a new U.S. president who pledged on the election campaign …

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US finds new excuses to slap sanctions on Iran

The United States on Wednesday imposed broad sanctions targeting Iran, blacklisting a foundation controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and taking aim at what Washington called Iran’s human rights abuses a year after a deadly crackdown on anti-government demonstrators. The sanctions announced by the U.S. Treasury Department, which also …

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Israel Syria raids escalate, targets civilians

Israel launched air raids against what it called a wide range of Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria on Wednesday, sending a signal that it will pursue its policy of striking across the border despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s election defeat. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, …

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Iran FM tells Biden how to lift Trump sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran would fully implement its 2015 nuclear deal if U.S. President-elect Joe Biden lifts sanctions on Tehran, which Zarif said could be done swiftly through “three executive orders”. “If Mr. Biden is willing to fulfill U.S. commitments, we too can immediately return to …

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Turkey officially states approval of Biden win

Turkey gave an impassive first reaction on Sunday to Joe Biden’s presidential win, with Vice President Fuat Oktay saying it would not change relations between the old allies although Ankara will keep pressing Washington on Syria and other policy differences. Turkey stands to lose more than most other countries if …

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Iran not bothered by Biden win, experts say

When reality TV star Donald Trump took office he quickly cast Iran as a main villain of his presidency – ultimately abandoning a landmark deal aimed at stopping Tehran from developing nuclear weapons and putting an economic squeeze on the Islamic Republic. Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the 2015 …

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France would welcome a Biden win, for trade’s sake

France expects smoother trade relations with the United States should Democratic contender Joe Biden win the presidential vote, with greater alignment on sustainable development and more multilateral cooperation, trade minister Franck Riester said. President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on French wines in a row over Airbus subsidies, threatened levies …

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Taliban going for broke, peace treaty or no peace treaty

A prominent women’s rights advocate who was part of Afghanistan’s government’s team of negotiators at the intra-Afghan talks with the Taliban said that despite the negotiations in Doha, Qatar, the insurgent group believe in regaining power “through military means.” “(Since signing the deal with the US), the Taliban feel they …

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Terror attacks rock Vienna in wake of Macron racism

At least one “Islamist terrorist” was responsible for attacks across central Vienna, in which at least five people were killed and several others injured, Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said on Tuesday. A massive search operation has been launched for other attackers, with at least 1,000 police officers fanning out …

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Trump lets US hardwon taxes go to Israeli settlements

The Trump administration lifted a decades-old ban on Wednesday that had prohibited U.S. taxpayer funding for Israeli scientific research conducted in Jewish settlements in occupied territory, drawing Palestinian condemnation. With Tuesday’s U.S. election approaching, President Donald Trump’s move was praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and could resonate with …

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Biden a threat to cordial US-Saudi relations

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince enjoyed a near free pass under his personal relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump, but the kingdom’s brazen young leader will have to tread more carefully should Democrats take the White House and reset strategic ties. Riyadh’s human rights record, with the brutal 2018 murder of …

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UAE tolerance minister implicated in sexual assault case during prestigous literary festival

One of the UK’s leading literary festivals has announced it will not be going back to Abu Dhabi after one of the event’s curators claimed she was sexually assaulted by the United Arab Emirates’ tolerance minister. Caitlin McNamara claimed a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, …

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US wants Saudi to normalization with Israel

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday urged Saudi Arabia to consider normalizing relations with Israel as he met with the Gulf country’s foreign minister, also saying that Washington supports a “robust program of arms sales” to it. Pompeo said he raised the so-called Abraham Accords, a U.S.-brokered agreement …

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Israeli cabinet approves normalisation plans with UAE

Israel’s cabinet approved a normalisation deal with the United Arab Emirates on Monday and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he and Abu Dhabi’s crown prince had spoken and agreed to meet soon. The U.S.-brokered “treaty of peace” establishing full relations with the Gulf Arab country broke new diplomatic ground in …

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