Middle East

Annan 'deeply disturbed' by media images of Iraqi prisoners being mistreated

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is "deeply disturbed" by images appearing in the media of Iraqi prisoners being mistreated and humiliated by United States prison guards, his spokesman said today.

Middle East ‘Quartet’ prepares for meeting next week at UN

The top United Nations envoy for the Middle East peace process, Terje Roed-Larsen, joined his colleagues from the European Union, Russian Federation and United States today in London to prepare for next week’s meeting of the so-called Quartet, a UN spokesman said.

Insecurity in Iraq undermines UN refugee work as ‘needs get bigger and bigger’

The United Nations refugee agency said today “the dire security situation” and upsurge in fighting in Iraq have further undermined its capacity to operate effectively inside the country, “where the needs just get bigger and bigger.”

Annan urges US caution in Fallujah, warns military action would heighten resistance

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today appealed to all the parties in Iraq to refrain from violence, urging the United States to do all it can to seek a peaceful end to the confrontation in Fallujah and warning that violent military action would only make matters worse.

Annan says some Oil-for-Food charges 'outrageous,' probe will clarify issues

While reiterating his determination to "get to the bottom" of allegations surrounding the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme in Iraq, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today stressed that some of the issues have been blown out of proportion and the UN has been unfairly blamed for things that had been beyond its control.

Iraqi Council adopts UN proposal on independent election commission

The Iraqi Governing Council has announced that it is adopting recommendations put forward by a United Nations electoral assessment mission on the formation of the Independent Elections Commission of Iraq, a UN spokesman said today.

Brahimi hopes to have Iraqi interim government named by end of May

United Nations Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi told the Security Council today he intends to quickly resume talks with Iraqis to reach agreement by the end of May on the composition of a caretaker government to succeed the United States-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), formally bringing an end to the occupation on 30 June.

Security Council backs Brahimi’s ideas on formation of Iraqi interim Government

The Security Council today gave its backing to ideas outlined by United Nations Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi for the formation of an interim Iraqi Government take over from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) at the end of June.

Annan hopeful of political settlement to Fallujah fighting

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced hope that the standoff in the Iraqi city of Fallujah could be resolved without fighting, saying that it was tricky and dangerous to fight in a built-up area.

'Right' Israeli pullout from Gaza could help bring Middle East peace - UN envoy

The top United Nations envoy for the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, gave the Security Council a cautiously upbeat assessment today of developments in the area, now poised between choosing a new era of peacemaking if Israel withdraws from Gaza in the right way and more violence if the withdrawal is wrongly handled.