Xinhua world news summary at 0030 GMT, Aug. 20

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PARIS -- The presidents of France and Russia, Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin, agreed Monday on the "Normandy format" that groups senior representatives of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany to resolve the war in Eastern Ukraine and exchanged views on Syria when jointly meeting press before their talks in Bregancon in southern France.

Putin is hosted by his French counterpart Macron at the French presidential summer retreat residence in Bregancon, five days before the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Biarritz, a seaside town in southern France. (France-Russia-Presidents)

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HELSINKI-- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that his country has remained committed to nuclear treaty and is willing to continue the dialogue.

Zarif and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto talked to the media after their meeting in Helsinki.

Commenting in Helsinki about the chances of Finland becoming a mediator between the United States and Iran, Zarif said that "a mediation should have some ground" and warned that the window for a dialogue may be closing. (Finland-Iran-Nuclear)

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WASHINGTON -- The United States tested a new ground-based cruise missile which can hit a target after more than 500 km of flight, weeks after withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banning such systems, the Pentagon said Monday in a statement.

"Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense's development of future intermediate-range capabilities," it said. (US-Missile-INF)

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UNITED NATIONS -- Reports of an air attack on a Turkish military convoy in northwest Syria, which claimed three civilian lives on Monday, are of "grave concern" to the United Nations and "a significant risk to regional security," a UN spokesman said.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters at a regular briefing, "Turkey's defense ministry has indicated (that) this has resulted in multiple casualties." (UN-Syria-Air Strike) Enditem

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