Middle East

Security Council voices concern at repeated delays to Lebanese presidential poll

The Security Council today expressed its “deep concern” at the repeated postponement of the Lebanese presidential election, warning that the delays do not serve the interests of the people of the Middle Eastern country and could lead to a further deterioration of an already tense situation.

Insecurity in Iraq slowing efforts to recover missing Kuwaitis – Ban Ki-moon

Recovering the remains of Kuwaiti and other nationals missing since the country’s 1990 war is taking longer than anticipated given the serious security challenges in Iraq, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report.

Iraq: UN agencies team with Government to boost local authorities

The Government of Iraq and seven United Nations agencies have launched a new initiative aimed at boosting the capacities of local authorities to carry through on development plans in partnership with the private sector and the community.

Urgent funds needed to run food aid operations in Yemen, says UN agency

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today called on donors to provide an urgent injection of $3.3 million in funds so that it can feed for the next four months nearly 80,000 Yemenis who have been displaced by intermittent conflict in the northwest of the country.

Ban Ki-moon to discuss planned Israeli settlements with Quartet partners

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he would discuss planned Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem with his diplomatic partners in the Quartet, which brings together the United Nations, European Union, Russian Federation and the United States in the search for a lasting solution to the conflict in the Middle East.

Continuing delays in election of new Lebanese president concern Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been holding talks by telephone this week with Lebanon’s political leaders to urge them to find a solution to their tense stand-off over the election of a new president.

Head of UN probe into Hariri assassination ‘more confident than ever’ of success

The head of the United Nations probe into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri is “more confident and optimistic than ever that the investigation can be concluded successfully,” he told the Security Council today, explaining that his team has been able to answer many key questions regarding the February 2005 attack.

US intelligence on Iran’s nuclear programme should spur talks, says UN official

A recently-released United States intelligence report concluding that there has been no ongoing nuclear weapons programme in Iran since the fall of 2003 tallies with the findings of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), its Director-General said today, calling for all parties concerned to enter into negotiations.

Secretary-General calls for six-month extension of UN force in Golan Heights

The situation in the Golan Heights has been “generally quiet” recently, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report, which warns that the overall region remains tense and a United Nations force observing the ceasefire between Israel and Syria should stay on for another six months.

Donors pledge over $160 million for UN agency aiding Palestinian refugees

Twenty-two international donors today pledged over $160 million to support the main United Nations agency providing vital humanitarian aid to some 4.5 million Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.