Quotes of the Day from Xinhua World News, Dec. 15

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MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday sent U.S. President-elect Joe Biden a congratulatory telegram on his election victory, the Kremlin said in a statement.

In the telegram, Putin wished Biden success and expressed confidence that despite existing differences, Russia and the United States can contribute to solving many challenges that the world is currently facing, given that both countries bear responsibility for global security and stability, according to the Kremlin.

"The Russian-American cooperation based on the principles of equality and mutual respect would meet the interests of the peoples of both countries and the entire international community," the Kremlin cited Putin as saying.

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday evening that Attorney General Bill Barr will step down before Christmas.

The news came just moments after Democrat Joe Biden officially surpassed 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the White House after California cast its 55 Electoral College votes, the most in any state, which put the former vice president over the top.

"Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House... As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family..." Trump tweeted.

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MOGADISHU -- Somalia has severed its diplomatic ties with neighboring Kenya citing frequent violation of Mogadishu's sovereignty, Somalia's information minister said on Monday evening.

Osman Dubbe, Somalia's information minister, said his country will immediately withdraw its diplomats from Kenya and ordered Kenyan diplomats to leave Mogadishu within seven days.

"The Somali government, on the basis of its sovereignty, international law and order, and fulfilling its constitutional duty to safeguard the unity, sovereignty and stability of the country, has decided to sever diplomatic relations with the Government of Kenya," Dubbe said in a speech broadcast live on Somali state television.

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KHARTOUM -- Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on Monday that Sudan's removal from the U.S. list of states sponsoring terrorism "helps tackle debts and improves the investment environment."

"This is a historic day. Today we return to the international community. This decision helps to implement programs of the transitional period," said Hamdok at a press conference in the capital Khartoum.

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ANKARA -- Turkey on Monday condemned the U.S. sanctions imposed for its purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems, vowing retaliation for the "unfair" move.

"We condemn and reject the decision that the U.S. announced today, including unilateral sanctions against Turkey, due to our procurement of S-400 air defense systems," said the Turkish foreign ministry in a written statement. Enditem

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