Middle East

Iraqi oil exports under UN ‘oil-for-food’ programme dip slightly

Over the past week, Iraqi oil exports dropped by 2 million barrels, but Baghdad still earned an estimated €224 million (euros) or $196 million under the United Nations “oil-for-food” programme, which allows the country to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to purchase humanitarian relief.

Deploring ‘spiral of violence’ in Middle East, Annan urges return to talks

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today deplored the “deepening spiral of violence” between Israel and the Palestinians and urged both sides to return to the negotiating table.

UN envoys in Gaza protest Israeli attack that injured UN staff, damaged offices

Senior United Nations officials have condemned an Israeli raid in Gaza against Palestinian Authority facilities, which were in close proximity to UN offices that also suffered damage during the attack.

Iraq: head of UN humanitarian programme ends month-long visit

Aiming to bolster the United Nations humanitarian work in Iraq, a senior UN official concluded today a month-long visit to the country by meeting in Baghdad with the Iraqi Vice President.

Annan prepared to resume dialogue with Iraq – spokesman

A spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today that Mr. Annan was prepared to talk to the Iraqi delegation following a message from President Saddam Hussein that Iraq was willing to resume a dialogue.

UN atomic energy agency wraps up routine safeguards inspection in Iraq

With Baghdad's cooperation, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has finished its periodic inspection of a nuclear facility in Iraq as part of routine work carried out under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Agency said today.

Alarmed by Middle East fighting, Security Council calls for halt to cycle of violence

Increasingly concerned at the unprecedented levels of violence and the steadily worsening situation in the Middle East, United Nations Security Council members have called for an immediate halt to the “destructive and dangerous cycle of violence.”

UN relief agency launches $117 million appeal to help Palestine refugees

Responding to deteriorating conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip following 16 months of strife, closures and sanctions, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) today appealed for $117 million for its emergency operations this year.

In Vienna, Annan says 'isolated' Arafat should be given more room to lead

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat should be given more room to operate and the “political time to act,” United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today – the first day of his official visit to Austria.

Iraq: head of UN's 'oil-for-food' programme ends visit to northern provinces

The United Nations official overseeing the humanitarian programme for Iraq has concluded a weeklong review of the operation in the country's northern provinces in an effort to speed up and improve the implementation of the scheme, known as oil-for-food.