Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Sept. 20

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TEHRAN -- Iran's Defense Minister Mohammadreza Ashtiani met with his visiting Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu here in the Iranian capital to discuss bilateral defense and military cooperation and issues of common interest, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency.

Ashtiani said the decades-long defense and military cooperation between the two countries to ensure regional and global stability and security will continue within the framework of international peace and security. (Iran-Russia-Defense Ministers Meeting)

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JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has voiced optimism that a "historic" deal to establish diplomatic ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia could be "within reach."

Netanyahu's comments came after he met U.S. President Joe Biden in New York on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, according to a statement from the prime minister's office on Wednesday. (Israel-Saudi Arabia-Normalization Of Ties)

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TRIPOLI -- An official from the UN refugee agency on Wednesday called on the international community to support the relief efforts in Libya after deadly floods devastated vast swathes of the country's eastern region.

"Thousands of individuals have lost everything, not least their loved ones. Many had already been displaced before, and need all the support they can get to overcome this tragedy," Aseer Al-Madaien, chief of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) mission in Libya, was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the website of the refugee agency. (Libya-Floods-UN Relief Support)

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ADEN, Yemen -- The United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg on Wednesday welcomed the Houthi delegation's recent visit to the Saudi capital of Riyadh, saying it is an important step to revive the stalled Yemeni peace process.

In a statement released by his office, Grundberg expressed gratitude for the mediation efforts of Saudi Arabia and Oman in facilitating dialogue between Yemen's warring parties in order to resolve key issues and resume the UN-led negotiations between Yemeni factions. (Yemen-UN-Peace Talks) Enditem

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