Middle East

UN panel approves over $365 million in damages from Iraqi invasion of Kuwait

A United Nations panel charged with disbursing compensation arising from Iraq's 1990 invasion and subsequent occupation of Kuwait today approved awards totalling over $365 million.

Secretary-General encouraged by Arafat-Peres meeting in Gaza

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, "warmly welcomed" today's meeting in Gaza between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, and expressed hope that this contact would serve to advance the peace process.

Stalemate continues over prices of Iraqi crude for US market, UN reports

An impasse in the Security Council has blocked the setting of prices for Iraqi crude destined for the United States market, according to the United Nations office running the oil-for-food food programme, which allows Baghdad to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to purchase humanitarian relief.

Donor nations laud 'remarkable' efforts by UN agency aiding Palestine refugees

The European Union (EU) will continue to urge the Israeli authorities to ease restrictions imposed on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), an EU representative told a meeting of donors in Amman, Jordan today.

$6 million UN-backed project pumps life back into Jordanian oasis

The Azraq oasis in Jordan's eastern desert is staging a "remarkable" ecological recovery thanks to a $6 million rehabilitation initiative funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP announced today.

Annan concerned at Israel's move to set up military zone in Palestinian territory

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today voiced his concern over an announced move by Israel to set up a closed military zone in a section of the occupied Palestinian territory.

Facing financial crisis, UN relief agency for Palestine refugees seeks urgent funds

Facing a severe budget deficit, the United Nations agency helping millions of Palestinian refugees urged donors gathered in Amman today to contribute to its activities as a force of stability in the Middle East.

UN envoy reports no dates set for new meetings between Israelis, Palestinians

Reporting that the situation on the ground was "relatively calm," the United Nations envoy to the Middle East today said he was still awaiting word on the scheduling of new meetings between the Israelis and Palestinians to discuss the region's crisis.

Annan welcomes statements by Palestinian and Israeli leaders, urges talks

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today welcomed promises of restraint voiced by Palestinian and Israeli leaders and urged the two sides to resume their talks.

Chief of UN weapons inspectors for Iraq briefs Security Council

The chief of the United Nations office mandated to oversee the dismantling of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction today briefed the Security Council on the readiness of inspectors to begin their work in the country.