Middle East

Monday's Daily Brief: Hopes rise for peace in Syria and Yemen, UNGA speeches end, Guterres saddened by India flood deaths

'Sign of hope' for long-suffering Syrians as new committee forms; Yemen prisoner release signals hope for Yemen; Assembly President closes formal Debate; Refugees evacuated from Libya to Rwanda; Multilingualism observed on World Day.

Constitutional Committee breakthrough offers ‘sign of hope’ for long-suffering Syrians

There is a “sign of hope for the long-suffering Syrian people” as a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, credible and inclusive Constitutional Committee is set to start deliberations next month, the United Nations Special Envoy for the country told the Security Council on Monday.

Yemen prisoner release boosts hopes of peace at last for war-weary civilians

Hopes for a possible end to the war in Yemen grew slightly on Monday, following the news that nearly 300 detainees have been released as a gesture of goodwill by Houthi forces, pitted against the Government of Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

At UN, Yemen Foreign Minister demands end to ‘Iranian-Houthi coup d’etat’

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Yemen on Saturday called on the United Nations and the wider international community to stand by his crisis-torn country as it struggled to cope with daily assaults and “terrorist aggression” at the hands of vicious, Iran-backed Houthi militias.

Syrian crisis is ‘clearest example’ of foreign investment in terrorism, Deputy Prime Minister says at UN

Although terrorism is a “global nightmare which haunts everyone”, some countries have invested in terrorism as a tool to impose their “insidious agendas” on other nations, Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister Walid Al-Moualem told the UN General Assembly on Saturday. 

‘Terrorist Iranian regime’ must be checked; Saudi Foreign Minister urges financial pressure

The United Nations, and the world, have a moral responsibility “to apply utmost pressure with every tool available ... to end the terrorist and aggressive conduct of the Iranian regime,” Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister told the General Assembly on Thursday evening. 

Iran cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons: Israeli Foreign Minister

The international community must join together to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the Foreign Minister of Israel told the UN General Assembly on Thursday evening.

At UN, Abbas rejects Israeli ‘arrogance’, vows to terminate all agreements if Palestinian territory is annexed

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday denounced what he called “arrogance and aggression” by the Israeli Government and called on the United Nations to push harder for the two-state solution to resolve the conflict.

Iraqi President highlights key role of sustainable development in country’s future

Ensuring good governance, tackling corruption and creating job opportunities for youth are top priorities for Iraq as the country continues to emerge from war and terrorism, President Barham Salih said on Wednesday. 

Syrian displacement poses ‘serious threat’ to Lebanon’s development goals, President tells UN Assembly

While the “heated” wars in the Middle East over the last decade have recessed, the President of Lebanon told the United Nations General Assembly’s annual general debate on Wednesday that Syria’s displacement crisis has had repercussions on his country’s “security, political, social, economic and environmental spheres”.