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Egypt, Israel close to swap of alleged spy for prisoners

CAIRO — The Egyptian foreign ministry has been charged with overseeing the exchange of an Israeli-American alleged spy being held in Egypt for Egyptian prisoners in Israel, the official Mena news agency reported late Thursday. The foreign ministry will be responsible “for overseeing the exchange of spy Ilan Grapel for…

Pentagon chief in bid to defuse Egypt-Israel tensions

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta was headed to Cairo from Tel Aviv on Tuesday in an effort to defuse tensions between Egypt andIsrael that have mounted since the end of Hosni Mubarak’s rule. Before flying out after a one-day visit to Israel, Panetta said he will seek to encourage both sides to ease friction…

U.S. keeps eight nations on religious freedom blacklist

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged governments Tuesday to do more to defend religious freedom as Washington released a report citing eight countries with troubling records on the issue. “We reaffirm the role that religious freedom and tolerance play in building stable and harmonious societies. Hatred and…

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