Middle East

UN nuclear watchdog concerned by removal of equipment, buildings from Iraq

The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency says it is concerned that equipment - even entire buildings - and contaminated scrap have been removed from sites in Iraq, in some cases even out of the country.

Iraq to top agenda of meeting between Annan and UK's Blair

Iraq will top the agenda for tonight's meeting between United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and British Prime Minister Tony Blair as they review the current situation, seek a way forward and discuss the UN's role in that country.

Annan condemns killing of hostages in Iraq, urges end to abductions

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today strongly condemned the killing of hostages in Iraq, urging an end to the abduction of civilians and calling for the release of those already held in captivity.

Annan hopeful Israeli withdrawal from Gaza sparks renewal of Road Map peace plan

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomes the possibility of an Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip but hopes that such a step would spark the renewal of the Road Map to peace, his spokesperson said today.

UN confident Iraqi interim government will be formed ahead of power transfer - Brahimi

Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Adviser, Lakhdar Brahimi, said today the United Nations was confident an Iraqi caretaker government could be formed ahead of the transfer of power at the end of June to guide the country until free and fair elections are held in January 2005.

Iraq: UN refugee agency ‘very concerned’ as people flee upsurge in fighting

The United Nations refugee agency is “very concerned” about the recent upsurge of fighting in Iraq, which has resulted in considerable displacement of people fleeing the conflict as well as the suspension of repatriation support.

Allegations on oil-for-food will be probed ‘very seriously,’ Annan says

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said that he will soon name the members of an independent panel to investigate allegations of corruption and fraud within the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme, and pledged that the probe will take the charges “very seriously.”

Annan says insecurity prevents return of large UN team to Iraq

Despite having its movements restricted as a result of the deteriorating security environment in Iraq, the United Nations mission led by Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi continued to consult with a wide range of Iraqi constituencies today, although Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he did not anticipate the return of a large UN team in the "foreseeable future."

Iraq: UN works to facilitate emergency relief for civilians in Falluja

The United Nations and its partners are working to ensure that emergency humanitarian aid reaches vulnerable groups in Falluja, Iraq, which has been the scene of deadly violence in recent days.

Alarmed over rising violence in Iraq, Annan urges protection of civilians

Alarmed at the mounting violence in Iraq, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today reviewed the matter with senior UN and United States officials while urging all concerned to protect civilians.