Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, May 24

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RIYADH -- Saudi Arabia and Canada have agreed to restore diplomatic relations and appoint ambassadors, the Saudi foreign ministry announced Wednesday.

The ministry said in a statement that the decision was made based on the two sides' wishes to restore ties on the basis of mutual respect and common interests. (Saudi Arabia-Canada-Restoration)

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DAMASCUS -- Syrians' Hajj pilgrimage to the Islamic holy cities of Madinah and Mecca in Saudi Arabia will be resumed in 2024 after 12 years of suspension, Syria's head of Hajj affairs said Wednesday.

There will be no Hajj pilgrimage for Syrians this year as the relations between Syria and Saudi Arabia have just been restored and the Hajj arrangements need time and coordination, the pro-government al-Watan newspaper quoted Hassan Nasrallah as saying. (Syria-Saudi Arabia-Hajj Pilgrimage)

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JERUSALEM -- The Israeli shekel against the U.S. dollar has hit a low in more than three years, according to the exchange rates released by Israel's central bank on Wednesday.

The shekel/dollar exchange rate was set at 3.731 shekels per dollar, compared to 3.83 recorded on March 18, 2020. (Israel-USD-Exchange Rate)

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JERUSALEM -- A brief fire exchange between Israel and Syria broke out on Wednesday after shots were fired at an Israeli reconnaissance drone near the disputed border.

"Shots were fired from Syrian territory toward an IDF (Israel Defense Forces) drone conducting routine surveillance activity," the Israeli military said in a statement. (Israel-Syria-Exchanging Fire) Enditem

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