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Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed meets Saudi foreign minister at Expo 2020 Dubai

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan at Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday.

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed received a letter from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on ways to strengthen bilateral relations between the two GCC countries, according to a statement from Dubai Media Office.

The letter also expressed wishes of good health for the United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa.

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Sheikh Mohammed conveyed Sheikh Khalifa’s greetings to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, wishing them good health and wellness.

Also in attendance was the diplomatic adviser to Sheikh Khalifa, Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammad al-Gergawi and Reem al-Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation and director general of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed also met President Carlos Alvarado Quesada of Costa Rica.

The meeting took place at the Costa Rica pavilion on Monday.

Peace forum launches at Expo

On Monday, Expo 2020 also saw the launch of the eight annual Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies – Abu Dhabi.

The three-day forum – under the theme ‘Comprehensive Citizenship: From Shared Existence to Shared Conscience’– includes UAE, regional and international participation.

The forum is highlighting the role of cooperation between nations and peoples of different religions in strengthening global peace and the well-being of societies, as well as emphasizing the commonalities that unite all people.

Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak al-Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, participated in the opening session, which was concluded by Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies – Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Nahyan said: “I commend this forum on the objectives it aims to achieve, under the title ‘Inclusive Citizenship’, which include promoting the values of tolerance, coexistence and human fraternity, as well as addressing related present-day challenges and collectively working on finding solutions to them.”

“These present-day issues relate to various topics, such as citizenship and national identity, education and healthcare, environment and nutrition, discrimination and prejudice, among others.”

“It is important that we collectively deepen societies’ knowledge of conflict resolution and combatting extremism and terrorism, in order to achieve peace and justice around the world. I also commend the strong message that this forum promotes, which is that dialog and tolerance are vital to achieve productive international cooperation.”

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US: Bodies of two of three missing kids found in Minnesota lake

The bodies of two young children have been recovered from a Minnesota lake, and searchers are still looking for a third they fear may have been intentionally drowned.

Meanwhile, the father of the children died at a different location hours earlier, and their mother is missing. Names have not been released.

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The chain of events began Friday morning when the father was found dead at a mobile home park in the town of Maplewood, near Minneapolis. Police determined that the woman had left with the children, and a search began.

Maplewood Police Lt. Joe Steiner said the woman’s car was found near Vadnais Lake around 4 p.m. Friday. The shoes of the children were found on the shore.

A search of the lake found one child’s body Friday evening. A second body was found overnight. Searchers from several organizations were busy Saturday looking for the third, as well as the mother.

Authorities believe all three children were under the age of 5.

“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at a news conference on Friday. He called the deaths a “likely triple homicide.”

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Foreign firefighters arrive in Greece for summer wildfire season

Several dozen Romanian and Bulgarian firefighters took up their posts in Greece on Saturday, the first members of a European force being deployed to the country to provide backup in case of major wildfires during the summer.

More than 200 firefighters and equipment from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Romania, Norway and Finland will be on standby during the hottest months of July and August in Greece, where a spate of wildfires caused devastation last summer.

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A group of 28 Romanian firefighters with eight vehicles, and 16 firefighters from Bulgaria with four vehicles, were the first to arrive for the two-month mission, financed and coordinated under the European Union’s civil protection mechanism.

“We thank you very much for coming to help us during a difficult summer for our country, and for proving that European solidarity is not just theoretical, it’s real,” Greek Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said on Saturday as he welcomed the members of the Romanian mission in Athens.

“When things get tough, you will be side by side with our Greek firefighters so we can save lives and property.”

The Bulgarian firefighters have been stationed in Larissa, in central Greece.

Last summer’s wildfires ravaged about 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) of forest and bushland in different parts of Greece as the country experienced its worst heatwave in 30 years.

Following sharp criticism of its response to the fires, the Greek government set up a new civil protection ministry and promised to boost firefighting capacities.

In Greece’s worst wildfire disaster, 102 people were killed when a blaze tore through the seaside town of Mati and nearby areas close to Athens during the summer of 2018.

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One killed, six injured in shootout between migrant groups in Serbia

One migrant was killed and at least six others, including a teenage girl, were injured Saturday in a shootout between migrant groups in Serbia near the Hungarian border, the state-run RTS television reported.

The 16-year-old girl sustained life threatening injuries in the incident that occurred in a forest in the outskirts of Subotica, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Belgrade, where the injured were hospitalized, RTS reported.

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Police, who made no immediate comment, blocked access to the forest where the incident took place, only around a kilometer from the Hungarian border.

Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin rushed to the scene.

The injured, aged between 20 and 30, have no documents, Subotica mayor Stevan Bakic told local media.

It is not known what triggered the incident, he added.

Local media reported that the shootout occurred between Afghan and Pakistani migrants most likely over human trafficking from the area to European Union member Hungary.

Serbia lies on the so-called Balkans route used by migrants heading towards Western Europe as they flee war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Although the route is nowhere as busy as it was during Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, tens of thousands of illegal migrants still cross the region annually.

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