Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, July 10

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ANKARA -- Turkey's second drilling ship, the Yavuz, has arrived off eastern Cyprus coast and will conduct drilling operation, Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

"The drilling activities of our ship Yavuz are based on legal and legitimate grounds," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement, rejecting Greek and the EU's claims that the drilling activities are illegal. (Turkey-EU-Cyprus)

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TUNIS -- Tunisian parliament on Wednesday failed to elect the remaining members of the constitutional court, Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) reported.

"No candidate was able to obtain 145 out of the 217 votes required to become a member of the constitutional court," said the parliament speaker Mohamed Ennaceur in a plenary session at the parliament's headquarters. (Tunisia-Court-Election)

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DAMASCUS -- Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Wednesday discussed the formation of a constitutional committee with the UN special envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, state news agency SANA reported.

The two sides highlighted the constant coordination on the UN Special Envoy's mission of facilitating the intra-Syrian dialogue in a way that helps restore stability and security in Syria and preserve its territorial integrity. (Syria-UN-Constitutional Committee)

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ADEN, Yemen -- Yemen's internationally-backed government on Wednesday threatened to suspend prisoner swap negotiations with the Houthi rebels in protest against death sentences handed to 30 detainees in Sanaa.

"The death sentences issued by the illegitimate Houthi court against 36 political activists in Sanaa are considered illegal," said Hadi Haig, head of the prisoner swap committee, on Twitter. (Yemen-Houthis-Prisoner Swap) Enditem

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