Middle East

UN envoy in Lebanon calls for end to Israeli violations of Blue Line

A United Nations official in Lebanon today called for an end to the numerous Israeli air violations of the withdrawal line, known as the "Blue Line," which he said were of heightened concern amid the current tense climate.

Middle East: need for parties to talk is critical, Annan says

Reacting to ongoing insecurity in the Middle East, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today stressed the importance of recognizing that the issues of violence, economic deprivation and the political process were interlinked and had to be tackled flexibly.

Israel's restrictions violate its international obligations, UN envoy says

A United Nations envoy for the peace process in the Middle East today told Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres that restrictions on UN personnel in the West Bank and Gaza violated the country's international obligations.

Security Council members condemn violence along Lebanon's withdrawal line

Reacting to recent attacks in the Middle East, members of the Security Council today denounced violations of the withdrawal line between Israel and Lebanon -- known as the Blue Line -- and called on all parties to desist from further breaches.

UN rights body condemns use of force by Israel in occupied Palestinian territories

The top United Nations rights body today condemned the "disproportionate and indiscriminate" use of force by the Government of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Iraq earns an additional 418 million euros under UN oil-for-food programme

Iraq has earned an additional €418 million (euros) under the United Nations "oil-for-food" programme which allows Baghdad to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to purchase humanitarian relief, the UN announced today.

Middle East: Annan "deeply disturbed" by escalation of attacks across Blue Line

Concerned by recent escalation of military operations across the line of withdrawal between Lebanon and Israel, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today emphasized the need to respect the Blue Line and stressed that it was vital for the governments and parties concerned to act with "utmost restraint."

Middle East: Annan calls for urgent steps to stem violence, build confidence

Reacting to the escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for urgent steps to control the situation and bring the parties back to the negotiating table.

UN reports sharp increase in Iraqi petroleum exports under oil-for-food plan

Baghdad's United Nations-administered oil exports surged to an average of 2.29 million barrels a day last week, up from 1.8 million the previous week, according to statistics released today by the UN office overseeing the effort.

United Nations, Francophone countries jointly sponsor Internet seminar in Beirut

The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) and the International Organization of La Francophonie are co-sponsoring a four-day training seminar on "Internet Use and the Media," now underway in Beirut.