News summary from Xinhua in the Middle East at 2200 GMT, July 9th July


RIAD – The Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tarik will visit Saudi Arabia for the first time on Sunday, the Saudi press agency reported on Friday.

The two-day visit is also his first overseas visit since he became Sultan in January 2020 after the death of the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said. (Saudi Arabia Oman Visit)


TEHERAN – Iran reported 16,596 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 3,344,122.

The pandemic has claimed 85,543 lives in Iran so far, 146 more than in the last 24 hours, the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education said in a briefing posted on the ministry’s official website. (Iran-COVID19)


ANKARA – Turkey confirmed 5,670 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the number of infections to 5,470,764, according to the Ministry of Health.

The death toll from the virus in Turkey rose 59 to 50,155 while an additional 5,126 people recovered in the past 24 hours. (Turkey-COVID19)


BEIRUT – The Lebanese Navy thwarted sea smuggling of 25 illegal Syrian immigrants off the coast of the city of Qalamoun in northern Lebanon on Friday.

A Lebanese security source told Xinhua that the immigrants, including women and children, were arrested several miles from the coast. (Lebanon illegal immigrants)


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