Sun, 14 Aug 2022

DAMASCUS -- Syria on Wednesday received the second batch of 100 commuter buses donated by China as part of the Chinese efforts to help improve the livelihood of Syrians during the difficult times the country is going through.

Chinese Ambassador to Syria Feng Biao and Syrian Minister of Local Administration and Environment Hussein Makhlouf attended the delivery ceremony in the capital Damascus, during which they signed the delivery note and took a short tour in one of the new buses.

Feng told reporters during the ceremony that the donation of the buses aims to boost the livelihood of the Syrian people amid the tough economic circumstances the country is going through. (China-Syria-Aid)

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JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Wednesday that he will not run in the upcoming elections as his coalition government has collapsed only a year after its inauguration.

He said in a broadcast statement that he will "soon" step down as prime minister and rotate with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid after the Israeli parliament is expected to vote on Thursday to approve a bill to dissolve itself.

"I will continue to assist him as an alternate prime minister," Bennett said, adding he will "transfer the job in a professional and orderly manner."

Ayelet Shaked, Israeli interior minister and a member of Bennett's pro-settler Yamina party, will replace him as the leader of the party, Bennett noted. (Israel-PM-Elections)

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CAIRO -- The World Bank approved a 500-million-U.S. dollar loan to boost Egypt's food security under the impacts of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation said on Wednesday.

The loan will be spent under a new Emergency Food Security and Resilience Support Project by mobilizing emergency price relief while bolstering long-term food security strategy, the World Bank said in a statement.

"The project supports the government's strong commitment to ensuring that the needs of citizens continue to be met even amid a very challenging global context," said Rania Al-Mashat, minister of international cooperation. (Egypt-World Bank-Loan)

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TEHRAN -- Indirect talks between Iran and the United States held in the Qatari capital of Doha have not yet ended, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday.

Another meeting between Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani and Enrique Mora, the EU chief coordinator for the Iran nuclear talks, will be held Wednesday evening, said Nasser Kanani.

"The talks in Doha have, from the beginning, been scheduled for two days. The two-day Doha talks are being held in a professional and serious climate," he added.

Earlier in the day, Iran's semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported that the Doha talks, which started Tuesday, ended without breaking the deadlock in the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal as Washington declined to offer "guarantees for Iran's economic benefits." (Iran-Nuclear-Talks)

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