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Slamming "hypocritical" Israel

Iran has slammed Israel for refusing to join the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty, as well as other arms control agreements. Majid Takht-Ravanchi described Israel’s approach toward his country as hypocritical, saying that the regime is trying to avert attention from its own nuclear activities. He highlighted Tel Aviv’s defiance of calls to create a nuclear-free region and described the regime’s nuclear arsenal as a threat to the region. Takht-Ravanchi noted that Israel has a long history of aggression and crime against Palestinians and has violated hundreds of UN resolutions. The Iranian diplomat also stressed that Washington is not in a position to preach others about meeting their commitments.

UAE-Syria ties

Another step in line with the United Arab Emirates’ major policy shift toward Syria: The Emirati foreign minister has met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al- Nahyan and Assad discussed ways to develop bilateral ties and economic cooperation. The United States has expressed concern about the meeting. This is the first such visit by a top UAE official since the start of foreign-backed insurgency in Syria a decade ago. The UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus in late 2018. It was one of the leading Arab states backing militants fighting to overthrow Assad’s government. However, the Syrian army’s advances against the militants have prompted a policy change in some Arab capitals, such as Abu Dhabi.

Covid-19 in UK

Covid-19 casts a larger shadow over Europe, as more countries are registering record numbers of deaths. That raises fears that the continent may be back at the epicenter of the pandemic. British health authorities have reported 262 more fatalities and over 33,000 new daily infections. Around 142,000 people have died from Covid in the UK so far. Meanwhile in Russia, daily deaths hit a new record of over 1,200. A steep rise in fatalities reported just a day after the nationwide shutdowns were lifted in the country. More than 39,000 new cases were reported as well. Neighboring Ukraine also logged a record figure of more than 830 deaths, in the past 24 hours, raising the tally to over 73,000. Nearly 19,000 new infections were also registered in the same period there. Europe is reporting more than half of all new cases worldwide.

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