Xinhua world news summary at 0030 GMT, Feb. 23

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of State on Monday reaffirmed the willingness to engage with Tehran over the nuclear issue, downplaying new threats by the Iranian leadership to boost uranium enrichment.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a daily press briefing that the United States is willing to engage the Iranians in the context of the P5+1, namely the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia, as well as Germany. (US-Iran-Nuclear)

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BRUSSELS -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on European parliaments to strive for a global COVID-19 vaccination plan to ensure equal access to vaccines around the world.

Addressing the virtual European Semester Conference, the inter-parliamentary conference on economic stability, Guterres said it was "not only unfair but also dangerous" that just ten countries account for 75 percent of global vaccinations to date. (UN-Vaccination-Plan)

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SANTIAGO -- Chile surpassed 800,000 cases of COVID-19 infection, after registering 3,547 new cases in the last 24 hours, for a total of 803,009 infections, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.

In addition, 84 deaths were recorded in the same period, bringing the total number to 20,126, according to the ministry. (Chile-Coronavirus)

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MOSCOW -- The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday it is disappointing that the European Union (EU) foreign ministers had decided to prepare new sanctions against Russian citizens "under a far-fetched pretext."

Josep Borrell, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said earlier in the day that the foreign ministers of the bloc had agreed to impose restrictive measures against those responsible for the "arrest, sentencing and persecution" of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. (Russia-EU-Sanctions) Enditem

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