Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Aug. 17

  • World
  • Tuesday, 18 Aug 2020

TEHRAN -- Iran reported on Monday 2,247 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, raising the total number in the country to 345,450, official IRNA news agency reported.

Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said during her daily update that 1,255 of the new cases have been hospitalized. (Iran-COVID-19)

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JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel is preparing for direct flights between Tel Aviv and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following normalization agreement between the two countries.

"I would like to inform you that we are now working on allowing direct flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai and Abu Dhabi," Netanyahu told reporters during a tour at the Ben Gurion Airport, Israel's international airport outside Tel Aviv. (Israel-UAE-Direct flights)

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DAMASCUS -- Chinese Ambassador to Syria Feng Biao discussed medical cooperation against COVID-19 pandemic with Syrian Health Minister Nizar Yazigi in the capital Damascus on Monday.

Both sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation on the health sector between the two countries, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. (Syria-China-COVID-19)

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ANKARA -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a phone conversation on Monday and discussed the recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as the crisis in Libya and Syria, Turkey's presidency said.

"The two leaders agreed on the importance of the continued dialogue and cooperation during the conversation in which the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya were raised," a written statement by the presidency said. (Turkey-Russia)

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