World News in Brief: September 16

Monday, 2019-09-16 10:49:06
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attacks on Aramco oil production facilities in the east of Saudi Arabia, his spokesman said Sunday (September 15). The secretary-general calls upon all parties to exercise maximum restraint, prevent any escalation amid heightened tensions and to comply at all times with international humanitarian law.

* Russia's Black Sea Fleet ships are constantly monitoring the US navy ship USNS Yuma, which passed through the Bosporus Strait on Saturday evening, the Ministry of Defense said Sunday.

* US President Donald Trump will meet next week with the leaders of India and Australia at events in Texas and Ohio to promote trade and investment, the White House said.

* British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday the next few days would be key to his chances of securing a Brexit deal, and that an agreement with the European Union was still his aim and still possible.

* More than 110 militants have been killed in Afghanistan over the past 24 hours as government forces have increased pressure on the Taliban outfit, officials said Sunday.

* A top commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said Sunday that the US military bases in the region are within reach of Iranian missiles, Press TV reported.

* Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday received Russian president's Special Envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and discussed with him the tripartite summit that will take place Monday in Ankara, according to the Syrian presidential media office. Lavrentiev informed Assad about the work schedule of the tripartite summit that will take place among Turkey, Russia, and Iran.

* US President Donald Trump on Sunday appeared to play down the chances that he might be willing to meet with Iranian officials, saying reports that he would do so without conditions were not accurate.

* Iran's Foreign Ministry on Sunday denied the "pointless" US claims that Iran is behind recent drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's Aramco oil establishments.

* US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that the United States was "locked and loaded" for a potential response to the attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities, after a senior official in his administration said Iran was to blame.

* Algerian interim President Abdelkader Bensalah announced Sunday that the country will hold a presidential election on December 12 this year. He added that he has signed a presidential decree on that issue in accordance with the constitutional and legislative provisions.

* Presidential polls closed at 6:00 p.m. local time (1700 GMT) on Sunday as Tunisians voted for a new president to succeed the former President Beji Caid Essebsi, who died on July 25. According to the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE), preliminary results of the election will be announced on September 17.

* Britain's exit from the European Union without a divorce agreement would be a disaster and must be ruled out, Europe's biggest business organisation (BusinessEurope) said on Monday, as EU officials warn this worst-case scenario is increasingly likely.

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up a bid for far-right votes two days before a closely-contested election, convening his cabinet in the occupied West Bank and having it approve legal status for an unauthorised outpost.

* At least 11 people were killed Sunday when an explosive-laden truck went off in a rebel-held town in the countryside of Aleppo province in northern Syria, a war monitor and state news agency SANA reported.

* Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday issued a general amnesty, according to the state news agency SANA. The presidential pardon covers crimes committed before September 24, except for the fugitives, who must surrender themselves to benefit from the amnesty.

* The volume of developmental cooperation projects that the European Union (EU) is funding in Egypt hit EUR1.1 billion (US$1.2 billion) annually, Egypt's Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar said on Sunday.

* Spokesman of Libya's eastern-based army, Ahmad al-Mismari, on Sunday said that the army will intensify its military action against the rival UN-backed government in the next few days.

Xinhua, Reuters