Visa row

CAIRO – Egypt will end visa-free entry for Qatari nationals with some exceptions, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Monday, the latest measure taken against Doha which Cairo and three Gulf governments are boycotting. “It does not make sense to keep making exceptions for Qatar and giving it privileges in light of its current positions,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid. Qatari nationals will now have to apply for a visa in order to enter Egypt.

Closer ties

BUDAPEST – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to focus on business rather than history in Budapest as he looks to deepen ties with Hungary, whose leader Viktor Orban’s flirtation with the radical right has unnerved Jews living there. During a two-day visit starting on Tuesday, Mr Netanyahu will also meet the Polish, Czech and Slovak leaders as part of efforts to build support for Israel’s interests in international forums.

Camp shooting

BEIRUT – An Iranian serviceman shot dead three fellow soldiers at a barracks on Monday and wounded six others before killing himself, the Mehr news agency reported. The shooting took place in the town of Abyek, some 40km north-west of Tehran, Mehr said. “The reason for this heartbreaking incident is being examined and we can’t speak about it now before investigating,” said Ali Reza Rahmani, the town’s governor. Such incidents are rare in the Iranian military.

Soldier jailed

AMMAN – A Jordanian military court sentenced a soldier to life imprisonment with hard labour on Monday for killing three US military trainers last year, a judicial source said on Monday. The killing in November at the Jafr airbase in the south of the country caused tensions between the United States and Jordan, who are long-standing allies. Jordanian authorities at first said the US trainers were shot because they failed to stop their car as they drove up to the gate of a large air base.

Suicide attacks

KABUL – The UN on Monday called on insurgent groups in Afghanistan to curb attacks on civilians after more than 5000 non-combatants were killed or wounded in the first six months of 2017. The war in Afghanistan killed at least 1662 civilians and wounded 3581 in the first half of the year, roughly similar to the toll in the same period in 2016, UN investigators said in a statement released on Monday.

Yemen war

NEW YORK – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that he hopes Yemen’s war will not spark direct confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia and that they can work together to end the conflict in the country and Syria.

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