Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, June 18

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KHARTOUM — The Chinese government on Thursday provided a new batch of medical supplies to Sudan to boost its efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In continuing the cooperation between the Republic of Sudan and the People’s Republic of China, today we received a new batch of medicines and health equipment related to confronting the coronavirus,” Omer Gamar-Eddin, Sudan’s state minister for foreign affairs, told reporters at the Khartoum airport. (Sudan-China-COVID-19)

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ISTANBUL — Wearing masks outdoors have made mandatory in Turkey’s three large cities including Ankara and Istanbul, as well as the northwestern city of Bursa, to better cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governors of the corresponding cities announced on late Wednesday that wearing masks become obligatory, and violations are subject to a fine. (Turkey-COVID-19-Masks)

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TEHRAN — Iran on Thursday reported 2,596 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 197,647, the state TV reported.

Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said during the daily update that 87 people died overnight, taking the total fatalities over the virus to 9,272.(Iran-COVID-19)

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TEHRAN — Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned the new U.S. sanctions against Syria and said that Iran will maintain its economic ties with the Arab state.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement that the imposition of new U.S. sanctions against Syria is a “violation of the international law and humanitarian principles.” (Iran-Syria-U.S. sanctions)

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