Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Aug. 21

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CAIRO -- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and visiting President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Sunday underlined the importance of strengthening joint Arab action and Arab unity to cope with challenges facing the Arab region.

The two leaders made the remarks in a meeting at El Alamein, a coastal city in northern Egypt, during which they also exchanged views on both international and regional issues, Egypt's presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement. (Egypt-UAE-Ties)

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KHARTOUM -- The Sudanese government on Sunday declared a state of alert and emergency in six states of the country over heavy rains and floods, the official SUNA news agency reported.

"In its meeting on Sunday, the Council of Ministers declared a state of alert and emergency regarding the flood disasters that affected six states, including River Nile, Gezira, White Nile, West Kordofan, South Darfur and Kassala," the report said. (Sudan-Floods-State of Emergency)

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TEHRAN -- A senior executive of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company said his country planned to start developing the offshore Esfandiar oilfield in Iran that is connected to a Saudi oilfield, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported on Sunday.

Alireza Mehdizadeh, the company's CEO, said Saturday the first phase of the development project in the Esfandiar field in Iran, which is connected to Saudi Arabia's Lulu field, will be implemented in the next three years, according to the report. (Iran-Oilfield-Development)

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BAGHDAD -- Four bodies have been recovered Sunday from the rubble of a landslide on a Shiite shrine near the holy Shiite city of Karbala, Iraqi authorities said.

Rescue teams were continuing searching for people who were believed to be trapped under the rubble of an earthen mound adjacent to the shrine, said the Iraqi Civil Defense directorate in a statement. (Iraq-Shrine-Collapse) Enditem

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