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Main news of June 23

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WORLD

* The deployment of a planned U.S. missile defense system in Europe would greatly impede progress on strategic arms reductions, the Russian foreign minister said

* The presidents of Russia and Egypt have signed a strategic partnership treaty to develop cooperation in the military and technical, trade and energy spheres

* Israel released on Tuesday the Hamas speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Abdel Aziz Duwaik, paving the way for a possible release of a soldier held by Gaza militants, local media said

* Moscow's proposal for a new European security treaty is not aimed against NATO or other organizations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

* Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday set January 17, 2010, as the date for the country's presidential elections

* The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has said Belarus must pass laws to abolish capital punishment before the county can be admitted to assembly sessions

* North Korea is to close for shipping its coastal waters near the port of Wonsan from June 25 until July 10 due to military exercises in the area, Japanese television reported

* The Kyrgyz parliament's Defense and Security Committee unanimously approved on Tuesday the establishment of a transit center at the former U.S. airbase at Manas airport

* Iran's controversially re-elected president and new cabinet will be sworn in between July 26 and August 19, the Islamic Republic's official news agency said

* Signals from the flight data recorders of the Air France airliner that crashed into the Atlantic killing all 228 people on board have been located, Le Monde reported

* Iran's Guardian Council, which oversees national elections, has said it will not annul the results of the country's controversial June 12 presidential vote, state television reports said

* At least six people were killed and more than 70 others injured during the evening rush hour in northeast Washington, when one train crashed into the back of another

RUSSIA

* All parties, including the new Israeli government, have agreed to attend the Middle East peace conference due to be held in Moscow by the end of 2009, the Russian president said

* Moscow hopes international talks on Korea's nuclear problem will be resumed shortly and is waiting for Pyongyang to confirm that it will stop all nuclear tests, the Russian foreign minister said

* The president of Russia's volatile southern republic of Ingushetia remains in a serious but stable condition after injuries sustained in an assassination attempt, a health ministry source said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrives in Egypt on Tuesday on the start of a four-country trip to Africa, his first to the continent as Russian leader

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