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Iran-Iraq ties 

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi is in Iran for high-level talks. Minutes ago he received an official welcome at Tehran’s Sa’ad-Abad Palace. The Iraqi premier, who leads a politico-economic delegation, will discuss regional and bilateral issues during his stay. The trip comes a day after he traveled to Saudi Arabia in a bid to revive talks between Riyadh and Tehran to ease years of tension. In the Arab kingdom, Kadhimi held talks with the de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about bilateral relations and efforts to boost regional security and stability. Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in 2016. The latest round of talks between the two countries was held in April. 

G7 anti-Russia agenda 

The Group of Seven leading economies double down their support for Ukraine, by saying they will no longer import gold from Russia. In a united move to cut off Moscow's finances, the G7 leaders announced the decision shortly after their summit got underway in Germany's Bavarian Alps hours ago. According to the White House, Russia accounts for about five percent of all gold exports, and 90 percent of that was sold to G7 countries. A centerpiece of the three-day summit will be growing energy shortages as well as rising global energy prices worsened by the Kiev-Moscow conflict. Also on the agenda are the global food crisis and climate change. Thousands of police officers are tasked with ensuring security. Just a day ahead of the summit, about four thousand people turned out in Munich for a largely peaceful protest. There were minor reports of scuffles with police, though. The protesters want a phasing-out of fossil fuels, social justice, and efforts to combat hunger.

Biden visit to Mideast 

A senior Palestinian resistance official is warning that an upcoming visit by US President Joe Biden to the region is aimed at undermining the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation. The head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, says the visit is also part of efforts to increase Israel’s clout. Biden will travel to Israel in mid-July, and from there, he will directly fly to Saudi Arabia. Haniyeh further called for the unity and integration of all resistance fronts in the region to counter Israeli infiltration. He warned of US-Israeli plots for regional realignments which would go beyond normalization deals with some Arab countries. Haniyeh said that involves the inclusion of Israeli in regional military and security coalitions to counter the resistance front in Palestine and across the region.

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