Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Jan. 19

TEHRAN -- The Iranian Army Ground Forces on Tuesday launched a military exercise along the Makran coasts in southeast of the country, Tasnim news agency reported.

Airborne units, special forces and rapid reaction brigades of the Army Ground Forces participated in the war game, code-named Power-99. (Iran-Military-Drill)

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BAGHDAD -- The Iraqi government on Tuesday approved Oct. 10 as the new date for the country's early elections to give more time for the electoral commission to complete preparations.

"The Council of Ministers voted unanimously in favor of setting Oct. 10, 2021 as the date for early elections," the media office of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said in a statement. (Iraq-Elections-Date)

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TEHRAN -- Iran's plan to produce uranium metal for fuel needs is not contrary to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in his press briefing on Tuesday.

Iran's plan to produce uranium metal at the factory in Isfahan is stipulated in the Iranian parliament's legislation, Khatibzadeh said. (Iran-Uranium Metal-NPT)

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RAMALLAH -- A senior Palestinian official said on Tuesday that he is holding talks in Moscow with Russian officials.

Hussein el-Sheikh, a member of the central committee of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Movement, said in a press statement that he met in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (Palestine-Russia-Talks)

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