Middle East

Security Council extends UN Interim Force in Lebanon through July

Gravely concerned at the persistence of tension and violence along the withdrawal line between Israel and Lebanon, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping force operating in the area (UNIFIL) through July.

UN health agency to send team to check on bird flu in Iraq

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today said it will send an expert team to Iraq to examine reports of a fatal case of avian influenza, or “bird flu,” in the war-ravaged country.

Quartet says aid to Palestinian government will be reviewed in light of key conditions

Future aid to the Palestinian government will be reviewed in light of a number of conditions, including recognition of Israel and a commitment to non-violence, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today in London, reading out a statement on behalf of the diplomatic Quartet, which also includes the Russian Federation, European Union and the United States.

Annan's top Iraq envoy condemns coordinated attacks near churches

The senior United Nations envoy to Iraq today condemned a series of deadly explosions carried out in coordinated sequence in the vicinity of churches in Baghdad and Kirkuk.

UN Legal Counsel meets leaders in Lebanon as part of support for Hariri probe

The senior United Nations legal official met today in Lebanon with top leaders as part of a visit aimed at helping them identify the nature and scope of the international assistance needed to create a tribunal to try those charged with the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and others.

Diplomatic ‘Quartet’ hails free Palestinian elections, urges all to renounce violence

The diplomatic ‘Quartet’ on the Middle East today congratulated the Palestinian people on holding free elections, while emphasizing that armed activities stand in contradiction to the democratic process.

UN Legal Counsel heads to Beirut to help Lebanese set up tribunal for Hariri killing

The United Nations Legal Counsel will travel to Beirut this week to help the Lebanese authorities identify the nature and scope of the international assistance needed to create a tribunal to try those charged with the killing of former Prime Minister Hariri and others.

Efforts to restore stability in Iraq are backfiring, UN study warns

International efforts to restore stability to Iraq are having the opposite effect, the editors of a new United Nations book on the reform of the security sectors in post-conflict societies said today.

UN envoy discusses national unity with Iraq’s top security adviser

In talks today on the evolving political and security situation in Iraq, the top United Nations envoy met the country’s National Security Adviser to focus on “the need for a fresh impetus in strengthening national unity,” the UN mission there (UNAMI) reported.

New UN head of Hariri assassination probe visits Lebanese officials

The new head of the United Nations investigation into last year’s assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has been paying courtesy calls on senior Lebanese officials following his arrival in Beirut last Thursday, a spokesman for the world body announced today.