Xinhua world news summary at 1530 GMT, Nov. 21

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TBILISI -- Visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Saturday in Yerevan rejected doubts over a trilateral ceasefire statement centered around the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Lavrov said during a briefing that issues related to the implementation of the ceasefire statement were fully discussed at the meeting with the Armenian leadership, including ensuring the operation of the Russian peacekeeping mission and conducting humanitarian actions. (Armenia-Russia-Ceasefire)

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RAMALLAH -- A senior Palestinian official said on Saturday that Palestine has proposed to exclude the United States from the Middle East Quartet to advance the stalled peace talks with Israel.

"Palestine proposed to Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations to hold a meeting, with the participation of other states but without the United States, to discuss convening an international peace conference," Azzam el-Ahmad, member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee, told official Voice of Palestine radio. (Palestine-Quartet-US)

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KABUL -- The alleged war crimes committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan during their military mission have drawn strong reaction from Afghans, who condemned the killings of innocent people.

"Killing of unarmed individuals, civilians and non-combatants are war crimes. It is not important who has committed war crimes but all perpetrators of war crimes in Afghanistan must be brought to justice," Eqbal Siddiqui, a private university student in Kabul, told Xinhua on Saturday. (Afghanistan-Australian Troops-Crimes)

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MOSCOW -- Russia registered 24,822 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, a new all-time high, as the pandemic worsens in the cold season, the country's COVID-19 response center said Saturday.

The national tally of cases has grown to 2,064,748, including 35,778 deaths and 1,577,435 recoveries, the center said in a statement. (Russia-Coronavirus) Enditem

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