Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Jan. 20

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TEHRAN -- Demonstrators in the Iranian capital Tehran gathered outside the Swiss embassy in Tehran on Sunday to protest at the recent detention of the Press TV journalist and news presenter, Marzieh Hashemi, in Washington.

The protesters chanted "Free Marzieh Hashemi" and demanded the U.S. authorities for immediate release of the American-born journalist. (Iran-Press TV anchor)

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TEHRAN -- Iran's Foreign Ministry on Sunday denied the allegations by Germany regarding the recent arrest of a suspect claimed to be spying for Iran.

"The alleged person has had no connections with Iran," the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qasemi, said in a statement. (Iran-Germany-Spy)

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DAMASCUS -- The Syrian air defenses intercepted a fresh Israeli missile strike targeting the areas in southern Syria on Sunday, state news agency SANA reported.

The Israeli strike targeted areas in the surroundings of the capital Damascus in southern Syria, said the report. (Syria-Israel)

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KHARTOUM -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Sunday said infiltrators within the popular demonstrations are the ones who killed some protesters to ignite the crisis.

"Within the demonstrations, there are infiltrators who kill the protesters," said al-Bashir when addressing a mass rally Sunday at Al-Kireida area in Sudan's White Nile State, some 392 km southwest of the capital Khartoum. (Sudan-Protest)

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CAIRO -- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met with French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire in Cairo on Sunday over economic ties and bilateral relations.

During the meeting, Sisi expressed keenness to continue cooperation with France and boost relations in all fields, the presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement. (Egypt-France-Bilateral Ties) Enditem

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