Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Jan. 31

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KHARTOUM -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday decided to reopen the border between his country and neighboring Eritrea.

"Today we sent a special greeting to the government and people of Eritrea," said al-Bashir when addressing his supporters in eastern Sudan's Kassala State bordering Eritrea. (Sudan-Eritrea-Border)

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BEIRUT -- Lebanon announced on Thursday the formation of a new government, breaking a nine-month political deadlock in the country, local TV Channel LBCI reported.

In a televised address, Fouad Fleifel, secretary general of the council of ministers, said Lebanon finally succeeded in forming a 30-member national unity government headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri with all main political parties represented as promised. (Lebanon-New Gov't-Reforms)

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CAIRO -- An Egyptian court sentenced on Thursday 26 defendants, including 19 fugitives, from five to 15 years in jail over promoting and working for anti-state media channels outside Egypt in favor of the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group, official MENA news agency reported.

Giza Criminal Court sentenced five of the defendants to 15 years in jail and 21 to five years and acquitted another two in the case known in Egypt as "the Brotherhood media case" that includes 28 defendants. (Egypt-Court-Muslim Brotherhood)

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DAMASCUS -- The U.S. forces and its allied Kurdish militia on Thursday prevented an aid convoy sent by the Syrian government to reach a town in eastern Syria, state news agency SANA reported.

The U.S. forces and allied Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) prevented the aid convoy to reach civilians in the town of Hajin in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zour province, said SANA. (Syria-US) Enditem

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