Xinhua world news summary at 0100 GMT, Dec. 18

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GENEVA -- The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is expected to host a joint meeting Tuesday at the Palais des Nations in Geneva with high-level representatives from Iran, Russia and Turkey, his office said on Monday.

A source with the UN Envoy's office said the efforts to establish a "credible, balanced and inclusive constitutional committee" have been the subject of continuing consultations. (UN-Syria-constitution)

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UNITED NATIONS -- The top UN envoy for Afghanistan on Monday saw a real chance of formal peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

"The possibility of a negotiated end to the conflict has never been more real in the past 17 years than it is now," Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Afghanistan, told the Security Council. (UN-Afghanistan-Taliban)

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RIYADH -- Saudi-led coalition involved in a war in Yemen announced on Monday that the Yemeni government will take control of the ports of Hodeidah soon, Al Arabiya TV reported.

The Spokesperson of the coalition, Turki Al Maliki, told a press conference that the United Nations and the international community would be responsible for implementing the Stockholm agreement. (Yemen-Saudi-Hodeidah)

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WASHINGTON -- A business partner of Michael Flynn, U.S. President Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser, was charged Monday with acting as an unregistered foreign agent lobbying for Turkey in the United States, the Washington Post reported.

The associate, Bijan Kian, appeared in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia on Monday morning, where he was charged with violating the U.S. Foreign Agent Registration Act and " conspiracy for attempting to get Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from the United States," the Post said. (US-Russia Probe-Turkey-Flynn) Enditem

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