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Call for regional cooperation

Iran's president says challenges in West Asia must be overcome through active participation of regional countries. Ebrahim Raeisi says there is no need for external actors to meddle in the region's affairs. Raeisi made the remarks in a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He said Iran is eager to cooperate with other countries including Turkey, in the fight against terrorism. Raeisi also touched on bilateral relations, expressing hope that Iran and Turkey will manage to expand economic cooperation in the near future. Erdogan, for his part, said recent diplomatic activities in the region show there’s need for regional collaboration. He also stressed the importance of economic and security cooperation between the Islamic Republic and Turkey.

Anger at deal with Israel

Anger is simmering in Jordan over increased cooperation with Israel. This time lawmakers leave a parliamentary session in protest at a recent deal with Israel on energy and water. Tens of deputies have walked out of the legislative chamber ahead of the session to discuss the pact inked last month. Outside the parliament, protesters stage a sit-in in front of the lower house of the parliament, calling for cancelation of the deal. Under the US-brokered deal, Jordan will provide solar power to Israel in exchange for desalinated water. The United Arab Emirates, which hosted the signing ceremony, will also build a solar power plant in Jordan. The UAE is among several Arab countries that have normalized ties with Israel in recent years despite widespread opposition in the Muslim world.

China games boycott

Canada and the UK are joining the US and Australia in diplomatically boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau says his country will not send an official delegation to accompany athletes in the upcoming games, citing human rights concerns. British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson also says his ministers will effectively boycott the sports event. China has accused the UK of trying to smear the winter Olympics, saying it has not invited any British officials to attend it. On Monday the US announced a diplomatic boycott of the games over a similar pretext. China in response has warned of countermeasures, adding that the US will pay a price for its mistakes.

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