Middle East

Iraq: Annan welcomes establishment of team to examine election complaints

Emphasizing that Iraqis who have complaints about their recent elections should get a hearing, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the decision by the International Mission for Iraqi Elections (IMIE) to establish a team of experts to examine the issue.

Annan deplores rocket attack from Lebanon into Israel

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today deplored the recent firing of Katyusha rockets from Lebanon into the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona and called on all parties to forestall a rise in tension.

UN, as part of diplomatic Quartet, welcomes upcoming Palestinian elections

The diplomatic Quartet made up of the United Nations, United States, Russian Federation and European Union today welcomed the upcoming Palestinian Legislative Council elections as a positive step toward consolidation of Palestinian democracy and the goal of a two-State solution to the Middle East conflict.

US should ‘seek resolution’ with Iraq over Kellogg, Brown and Root contract – IAMB

The United States should “seek resolution” with the Baghdad Government in relation to a $1.4 billion contract awarded to the firm Kellogg, Brown and Root using Iraqi oil revenue, officials from the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) set up to track the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) said today.

Israeli grant to UNDP/PAPP to develop Gaza Strip sites evacuated by Israelis

With a $25 million grant to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Israeli government made its first donation to a UN agency that will give the Palestinian territories an economic boost following Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied Gaza Strip.

Mandate of UN observer force in Golan Heights extended for another six months

Noting “the very tense situation in the Middle East,” the Security Council today extended for six months the mandate of the long-running United Nations peacekeeping force observing the ceasefire between Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights.

UN refugee agency troubled by refugee protests in Yemen and Egypt

The United Nations refugee agency today expressed concern over concurrent protests over living conditions, resettlement and other issues by Somali refugees in Yemen that turned violent leaving one person dead, and Sudanese refugees in Egypt where conditions at a sit-in are rapidly deteriorating.

Despite missed deadline, Quartet peace plan still valid: UN envoy

With only 10 days left before the expiration of the original deadline of the Middle East Diplomatic Quartet’s so-called Road Map peace plan for a final and settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a top United Nations official stressed today that the plan is still the agreed framework for reaching a lasting peace in the Middle East.

Iraq: UN commends countrywide participation in inclusive elections

The United Nations today commended the Iraqi people for their active nationwide participation in yesterday’s elections, congratulated the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) for the conduct of the poll, and pledged its continued support on the path to peace and democracy in the strife-torn country.

Security Council demands full Syrian cooperation in probe into Hariri murder

Voicing “extreme concern” that Syria has not yet provided full and unconditional cooperation to the United Nations inquiry into the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the Security Council today unanimously demanded that the Syrian Government respond “unambiguously and immediately” in all necessary areas of the probe.