Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, March 13

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TEHRAN -- A senior Iranian security official on Wednesday warned that "suspicious nuclear programs" are being carried out by some countries in the Middle East region, Tasnim news agency reported.

"Some countries in the region have put suspicious nuclear programs on their agenda, spending their petrodollars (on such programs)," Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, was quoted as saying. (Iran-Nuke Programs-Mideast)

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KHARTOUM -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday issued a decree to form a new government of 19 ministers.

Sudan's National Prime Minister, Mohamed Tahir Ella, announced the decree at a press conference in capital Khartoum. (Sudan-New gov't)

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ALGIERS -- Algerian official APS news agency on Wednesday reported Ramtane Lamamra has been appointed new foreign minister to replace Abdelkader Messahel.

Following a ceremony at the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry, Lamamra, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, told reporters that he is tasked by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika "to transmit to foreign partners and to the international community the aspirations of the Algerian people." (Algeria-New FM)

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TUNIS -- The number of neonatal deaths in Tunisia increased to 15, Sofien Sliti, spokesman of Tunis Court of First Instance, confirmed in a statement Wednesday.

"The Tunisian public prosecutor's office has launched investigation to determine the causes of newborns death at the obstetrics and neonatology departments in the Rabta Hospital in Tunis," said Sliti. (Tunisia-Neonatal Deaths) Enditem

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