Middle East

Iraq continues to suspend oil exports used to fund UN relief programme

Baghdad is continuing its suspension of petroleum exports under the United Nations humanitarian "oil-for-food" programme in Iraq, the Office running the effort said today.

Annan heads to Middle East for talks with parties, key leaders

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today headed to the Middle East for meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders as well as other key players seeking to push the peace process forward.

Annan to visit Middle East next week in pursuit of political solution to crisis

With a ceasefire offering hope for progress in the Middle East, Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced today that he would travel to the region early next week in pursuit of a political settlement to the current turmoil.

Iraq: Security Council consults on oil-for-food, inspection panel's report

There is a general view in the Security Council that all efforts should be made to conclude negotiations on a draft resolution on the United Nations humanitarian oil-for-food programme by the end of the month, the current President of the 15-member UN body said today.

Security Council to discuss Iraq in consultations on Thursday

The Security Council plans to meet on Thursday to discuss the humanitarian relief effort for Iraq and hear a report on the United Nations commission charged with monitoring the elimination of the country's weapons of mass destruction, according to the President of the 15-member body.

Iraq stops pumping oil under UN relief scheme; no new loadings planned

Having announced the suspension of its petroleum exports under the United Nations oil-for-food programme, Iraq has stopped pumping oil into the Iraq/Turkey pipeline, the UN office overseeing the humanitarian effort said today.

Welcoming declared ceasefire in Middle East, Annan urges joint efforts for peace

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the declared ceasefire in the Middle East and called for broad efforts to bring peace to the volatile area.

Iraq: Annan welcomes US decision to release holds 410 humanitarian contracts

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed a decision by the United States to release over 400 humanitarian contracts for Iraq that had been placed on hold by the committee monitoring the sanctions against Baghdad.

UN confirms suspension of Iraqi oil exports

The United Nations today confirmed that Baghdad had suspended the export of its petroleum, which is sold to purchase humanitarian relief under the UN's "oil-for-food" programme.

Annan condemns Tel Aviv suicide bombing in "strongest possible terms"

Reacting to the suicide bombing in Israel, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has deplored the "horrible" act, which, he said, only underscored the pressing need to cut the chain of violence in the region.