Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Dec. 31

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CAIRO — China and Egypt signed on Thursday a letter of intent for mutual cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines.

Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang signed the letter, on behalf of the National Health Commission of China, with Mohamed Hassani, Egyptian assistant minister of health for public health initiatives, said the Chinese embassy in Cairo in a statement. (China-Egypt-Vaccine)

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KHARTOUM — Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan on Thursday said the Sudanese army has not gone beyond the international border with Ethiopia or attacked it.

“What is happening at the eastern region adjacent to our border with Ethiopia is redeployment of the Sudanese armed forces within their territory,” said Al-Burhan in a speech to the Sudanese people on the 65th anniversary of Sudan’s Independence. (Sudan-Ethiopia-Border)

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CAIRO — Egypt stressed on Thursday the importance of promoting “sincere intentions” to achieve reconciliation between Qatar and the Arab quartet.

“As resolution over the years-long rift between Qatar and the Arab quartet of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, looks imminent, Egypt supports sincere efforts aimed at Arab unity and reconciliation,” said Ahmed Hafez, spokesperson of the foreign ministry. (Egypt-Qatar-Reconciliation)

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TEHRAN — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Thursday of a possible plot by the United States to “fabricate a pretext for war,” semi-official Fars news agency reported.

“Intelligence from Iraq indicate plot to fabricate pretext for war,” Zarif wrote on social media. (Iran-U.S.-FM)