Middle East

UNESCO welcomes release of French journalist and Iraqi assistant

Deploring the toll that reporters have paid to keep the world informed about Iraq, the United Nations body entrusted with defending press freedom has welcomed the release of French journalist Florence Aubenas and her Iraqi assistant Hussein Hanoun after five months of captivity there.

Iraq: UN envoy meets with Prime Minister to discuss constitutional process

The senior United Nations envoy in Iraq and Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari met today to discuss the ongoing constitution-making process in the country, including the participation of groups from outside the Transitional National Assembly.

No progress in search for missing Kuwaiti national archives – Annan report

It is regrettable that, more than two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, the Kuwaiti national archives have not been found and returned to that country, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in the latest report on property seized by Iraq during its occupation of its neighbour 14 years ago.

Annan expresses concern over bombings in Iran

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has learned with great concern of the loss of lives and the severe injuries of many bystanders as a result of a string of bomb explosions in Tehran and other cities in Iran, his spokesman said today.

Secretary-General 'encouraged' by Syria talks

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is encouraged by the results of talks on Syria, held between his Special Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen and Syrian President Bashar el-Assad, a UN spokesman said today.

Global partners and responsible media can enhance Mid-East peace process – Annan

With the people of the Middle East now approaching a number of important turning points, assistance from their regional and international partners – and from responsible mass media – can prevent a slide back into conflict and confrontation, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

Annan recommends extension of UN force in Golan Heights

With the situation in the Israel-Syria sector "generally quiet" but still lacking a political resolution, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today recommended that the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force there be extended for six months.

UN envoy congratulates new president of Kurdistan regional Government

The senior United Nations envoy for Iraq today congratulated Masoud Barzani on his inauguration as President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and assured him that the UN was committed to helping Kurdistan and the Baghdad Government establish good relations.

Top UN envoy in Iraq meets former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi

The senior United Nations envoy to Iraq and former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi have discussed the possibility of turmoil in the country in the coming months with the approach of key milestones in the constitutional process.

Improved conditions, credible constitution are keys to Iraq transition – Annan

Successful completion of the political transition in Iraq requires real progress in the security and living conditions of all Iraqis, as well as a constitutional process that is credible to all groups, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report.