Tag Archives: UNITED NATIONS

One question at UN Syria talks: What does Russia want?

The first UN-led Syria peace talks in almost a year are in danger of getting lost in procedure, as officials obsess about who will meet whom, but behind the scenes diplomats say it’s largely up to Russia to call the

Syria government negotiator to study UN paper

The chief government negotiator at Syria peace talks in Geneva said on Friday he had received a paper from UN mediator Staffan de Mistura and would now study it, but a first meeting had covered nothing but the format of

UN ‘disturbed’ by light sentence for Israeli soldier

An 18-month prison sentence for an Israeli soldier who shot dead a wounded Palestinian assailant is an “unacceptable” punishment for “an apparent extra-judicial killing,” the UN said Friday. United Nations human rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani further charged the Jewish

Syria’s warring sides meet at UN talks for first time in three years

Opposing sides in the Syrian war came face-to-face in UN peace talks for the first time in three years on Thursday, to hear UN mediator Staffan de Mistura implore them to find a way out of the almost six-year-old conflict.

UN aid convoy looted in Syria as supplies remain blocked

A convoy bringing aid to a besieged area in Syria was seized by gunmen who looted the supplies and roughed up the drivers just days before peace talks, a top UN official said Wednesday. Only three convoys have reached rebel-held

UN needs $4.4 bn for famine relief in four countries: Guterres

UN aid agencies need $4.4 billion in emergency funding to address famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday. More than 20 million people face starvation in the four countries and action is needed

UN mediator expects ‘no breakthrough’ in Syria talks

UN mediator Staffan de Mistura said on Wednesday that he expects no breakthrough at Syria peace talks starting on Thursday, but the beginning of a series of rounds of negotiations that aim to reach a political agreement. “We are not

UN alarmed by upsurge in Syria fighting

Staffan de Mistura

The United Nations on Monday expressed alarm over escalating fighting in the Damascus area as the world body prepared to launch a new round of peace talks. UN officials have received reports of civilian deaths and injuries from shelling in

Iran dismisses new US pressure, calls for ‘mutual respect’

Iran’s foreign minister brushed aside new pressure from the United States on Sunday, declaring that his country is “unmoved by threats” but responds well to respect. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran, the US

UN chief: US blocking Libya envoy was ‘serious mistake’

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says that the US decision to block a former Palestinian prime minister from leading the UN political mission in Libya was “a serious mistake.” Washington blocked the proposed appointment of Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Authority’s prime

We ‘absolutely’ support two-state solution: US ambassador to UN

The United States “absolutely” supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but is thinking of new ways to push for a peace deal, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said Thursday. It would be an “error” to say the United States

Egypt chief-of-staff mediates between Libyan rivals in Cairo

Egypt’s chief-of-staff has mediated between two Libyan rivals who refused to meet face to face in Cairo but later agreed to form a committee to renegotiate a UN peace deal. Col. Tamer el-Rifai, an Egyptian army spokesman, says the two

UN warns of ‘looming catastrophe’ in 4 besieged Syria towns

The top UN official in Damascus has warned of a “looming humanitarian catastrophe” in four besieged towns in Syria, calling for immediate access to deliver aid to some 60,000 residents. In a statement late Monday, the UN humanitarian coordinator for

Syrian govt forces used chemical weapons in Aleppo

Syrian government forces used chemical weapons in opposition-controlled parts of Aleppo during battles to retake the city late last year, Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Monday. The findings add to mounting evidence of the use of

Syrian government says ready for prisoner swaps with rebels

The Syrian government said on Monday it was ready to agree prisoner swaps with rebel groups, a potential confidence-building measure as the United Nations prepares to convene new peace talks. The Syrian opposition has long demanded a release of detainees

Guterres: Salam Fayyad ‘right man’ to be Libya envoy despite US objection

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he believed former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad was the “right person” to be the world body’s envoy to Libya after the United States raised objections to the choice. The US ambassador to

‘Islamophobia’ fueling terrorism: UN chief

“Islamophobia” in parts of the world is fueling terrorism, the head of the United Nations said on a visit to Saudi Arabia Sunday, as anti-immigrant sentiment rises in some countries. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the comment to reporters after

UN sec gen says Saudi ‘pillar of stability’ in region

The United Nations’ Secretary General has told a press conference in Riyadh that Saudi Arabia is the ‘pillar of stability in the region’. Speaking at a joint conference with the kingdom’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Antonio Guterres told journalists: “Saudi’s

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