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Tensions over Taiwan

China has threatened to retaliate if the US House Speaker meets the Taiwanese president during her planned transit of the United States. Tsai Ing-wen has embarked on a 10-day trip to Central America to bolster ties with Guatemala and Belize. On her way, she will make stopovers in the US cities of New York and Los Angeles. Sources say she plans to meet McCarthy during the transit, but there has been no official confirmation. If that happens, it will be Tsai's first high-level meeting on American soil. She says Taiwan will continue to expand relations with countries across the world, despite China’s objection. 

Storming al-Aqsa mosque

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have condemned Israeli settlers’ attack on the al-Aqsa mosque compound. A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority called settlers’ storming of the mosque provocative. He said the regime’s atrocities and settlers’ increasing crimes against the Palestinian people will never lead to stability and tranquility. Separately, Hamas denounced the continuation of settler attacks on al-Aqsa under the protection of the regime's forces. The Palestinian groups say Tel Avivi will be responsible for the consequences of such aggression and policies. They called for regional and international intervention to de-escalate the situation. Settlers trespassed on the mosque’s premise yet again on Tuesday to observe Jewish ceremonies in violation of its status quo. Al-Aqsa is an exclusively Muslim holy site in which non-Muslims are not permitted to engage in their religious rituals.

Iran FM in Moscow

Iran’s foreign minister, with a high-ranking delegation, is in Moscow to hold talks with Russian officials on regional and bilateral issues. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. During the meeting, Lavrov underlined that Iran and Russia are actively engaged in talks in various fields and moving forward to boost political, commercial, and investment exchanges. Upon his arrival, the top Iranian diplomat said that the JCPOA and the return of parties to their commitments are also on the agenda of the talks. He emphasized that Moscow had played an important role in the last round of JCPOA talks in Vienna. Amir-Abdollahian also referred to the volume of Iran-Russia trade exchange, saying it has increased by nearly four-fold. He said the two countries are also expanding their ties in different sectors, including defense which is not aimed against a third country. 

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