Middle East

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.

Ongoing Middle East violence makes need for talks ever more urgent - Annan

Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed today that the ongoing Middle East violence made the need for peace talks ever more urgent and said that he continued to be in contact with all concerned parties in an effort to end clashes and resume negotiations.

IAEA remains ready to resume verification work in Iraq: report

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) remains prepared to resume its inspections in Iraq on short notice in order to verify the status of the country's past clandestine nuclear programme, according to the Agency's latest progress report, which was released today at United Nations Headquarters in New York.