* Israel’s foreign minister said Friday that he will visit Bahrain later this month, the first such visit by an Israeli minister to the Gulf country following a diplomatic agreement reached last year. Yair Lapid announced the visit in a conference call with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and officials from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, which signed U.S.-brokered agreements to normalize relations with Israel last year.
* In a last-minute deal before Iran was likely to be censured for violating its agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the new government in Tehran agreed on Sunday to let the organization reset monitoring devices that help measure the progress of the country’s nuclear program.
* Syria's defense minister visited Jordan on Sunday to discuss stability on their mutual border, the first such meeting since the Syrian conflict erupted a decade ago when the two neighbors supported opposing factions, officials said. Jordanian army head Lieutenant General Yousef Hunaiti met Syrian Defense Minister and Chief of Staff Ali Ayyoub over the Deraa situation and to discuss issues such as the fight against terrorism and drug smuggling in the area, Jordan's army said.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Moscow on Monday, the Kremlin said. During the meeting, Putin congratulated Assad on his win in Syria's presidential election. He also said that foreign forces, which are being deployed in Syria without the United Nation's decision, are a hindrance for the country's consolidation, according to the readout of the meeting.
* Iran joined a rapidly expanding central Asian security body led by Russia and China on Friday, calling on the countries in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to help it form a mechanism to avert sanctions imposed by the West. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was formed in 2001 for Russia, China, and ex-Soviet states in Central Asia to function as a counterweight to Western influence in the region.
* Algeria’s longest-serving president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned in 2019 amid pro-democracy protests after two decades in power, has died aged 84. The state television announcement on Friday, citing a statement from the office of the current president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, did not provide the cause of death. A three-day period of mourning starting on Saturday has been declared for the former president. Flags were to fly at half-mast during the mourning period, the president’s office said.
* Several hundred demonstrators gathered in Tunis to protest against Tunisian President Kais Saied’s seizure of governing powers in July, which triggered a constitutional crisis and prompted accusations of a coup. The protest, accompanied by a heavy police presence, was the first since Saied declared on July 25 he was sacking the prime minister, suspending parliament, and assuming executive authority.