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Spaniard: Europe must increase gas imports from North Africa

Algiers, Apr 11 (EFE).- Spain's foreign minister said here Friday that Europe will need to increase natural gas imports from North Africa if it is to reduce its dependence on supplies from Russia. "What's happening as a consequence of the conflict in Ukraine is enormously important for energy relations between Spain and Algeria," Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told reporters after arriving at the airport serving this capital.

Four Syrian immigrants die in boat sinking off Turkey

Four people drowned on Tuesday after a boat carrying eight Syrian immigrants trying to reach Greece capsized off western Turkey, local media reported. Three survivors were rescued and taken to a hospital in the Turkish tourist town of Bodrum, while one person remained missing after the accident in the Aegean Sea, Dogan news agency said. The incident came hours after seven migrants including two children died after their boat sank off the Greek island of Lesbos.

Four Syrian immigrants die in boat sinking off Turkey

Four people drowned on Tuesday after a boat carrying eight Syrian immigrants trying to reach Greece capsized off western Turkey, local media reported. Three survivors were rescued and taken to a hospital in the Turkish tourist town of Bodrum, while one person remained missing after the accident in the Aegean Sea, Dogan news agency said. The incident came hours after seven migrants including two children died after their boat sank off the Greek island of Lesbos.

Denmark 'cautiously optimistic' over Syria chemical weapons

Denmark's premier, whose country is a key player in an international operation to destroy Syria's chemical arsenal, said Wednesday she was "cautiously optimistic" the timetable for doing so will be met. Helle Thorning-Schmidt was speaking during a meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades aboard the Danish frigate HDMS Esbern Snare, which is escorting Syrian chemical weapons shipments and is operating out of nearby Cyprus.

International court to hear Croatia, Serbia genocide claims

The UN's highest International Court of Justice is to hear arguments next month in a long-running genocide case that threatens to sour relations between Croatia and Serbia. The Hague-based ICJ "will hold public hearings in the case concerning Croatia vs Serbia from Monday March 3 to Tuesday, April 1," it said in a statement Friday. Croatia in 1999 dragged Serbia to the ICJ on genocide charges relating to Zagreb's 1991-95 war of independence following the collapse of the former Yugoslavia.

African asylum seekers protest Israel detention laws

More than 10,000 African asylum seekers who entered Israel illegally through Egypt staged a protest in Tel Aviv on Sunday, denouncing the Jewish state's long-term detention of illegal immigrants. Demonstrators sharply criticised the authorities' refusal to give them refugee status and their detention of several hundred asylum seekers. "We are all refugees" and "yes to freedom, no to prison!" they chanted in English, with Israeli rights activists also joining the march.

Bulgaria FM puts off Britain trip over migration row

Bulgaria's foreign minister said Tuesday he had postponed a December trip to Britain because of a row triggered by London's fears of an influx of Bulgarians and Romanians next year. "We felt the atmosphere was not suitable," Kristian Vigenin was quoted by Bulgarian media as saying on the sidelines of a Brussels meeting of EU foreign ministers. "By end-January, when it's clear there will be no influx of Bulgarians and Romanians, the visit could be held in much calmer conditions," he added.

'Island of love' lures Israelis, Lebanese to tie knot

Cyprus, dubbed the "Island of Love" as the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, is a magnet for Lebanese and Israeli couples from across the water to tie the knot in a civil wedding. "We don't have the same religion," shrugged Yohana, resplendent in a white dress fresh out of her suitcase. The young Lebanese woman, a member of the Muslim Druze minority sect, arrived from Beirut with her Christian fiance -- after a flight lasting less than half an hour.

Israel deploys Iron Dome system near Jerusalem

Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defence system near Jerusalem Sunday, an AFP correspondent said, as the United States lobbied for domestic and international support for military strikes against Syria. The correspondent said the battery was set up west of the city. A military spokeswoman would not comment on the deployment, saying only that "defence systems are deployed in accordance with situation assessments".

Israel deploys Iron Dome system near Jerusalem

Israel deployed its Iron Dome missile defence system near Jerusalem Sunday, an AFP correspondent said, as the United States lobbied for domestic and international support for military strikes against Syria. The correspondent said the battery was set up west of the city. A military spokeswoman would not comment on the deployment, saying only that "defence systems are deployed in accordance with situation assessments".
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