UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called for an immediate halt to the fighting in Yemen, the first time he has made such an appeal since Saudi-led air strikes against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels began three weeks ago.
Ban said the poorest country in the Middle East was already in a crisis before the recent outbreak of hostilities, with levels of food insecurity that were higher than in the poorest parts of Africa. He said the recent fighting had only exacerbated those problems.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is naming Mauritanian diplomat Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to replace his outgoing special envoy to Yemen, who resigned after his peace plan to halt the war there failed, diplomatic sources said on Thursday.
They said Ban has briefed some members of the United Nations Security Council informally about his intention to appoint Ould Cheikh Ahmed to replace Jamal Benomar, a veteran Moroccan diplomat who brokered a 2011 transition plan aimed at quelling political turmoil in Yemen.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. special adviser to Yemen Jamal Benomar is planning on stepping down from his job and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is considering appointing a Mauritanian diplomat to the post as the civil war escalates, a U.N. diplomatic source said on Wednesday.
Benomar, a veteran Moroccan diplomat, had recently irked Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations for his handling of so far unsuccessful peace talks between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Western and Gulf Arab-backed Yemeni government, Western U.N. diplomats said on condition of anonymity.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday blacklisted the son of Yemen’s former president and a Houthi leader, and effectively imposed an arms embargo on the Iran-allied Houthi rebels who rule most of the country.
The council voted 14 in favor. Russia abstained, saying some of its proposals for the resolution, drafted by council member Jordan and Gulf Arab states, were not included.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for an “independent and impartial understanding” of human rights in the disputed North African territory of Western Sahara, according to a report seen by Reuters on Friday.
Ban’s annual report on Western Sahara stopped short of recommending the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the territory (MINURSO) monitor rights, which the African Union has urged.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Beefing up international monitoring of Iran’s nuclear work could become the biggest stumbling block to a final accord between Tehran and major powers, despite a preliminary deal reached last week.
As part of that deal, Iran and the powers agreed that United Nations inspectors would have “enhanced” access to remaining nuclear activity in Iran, where they already monitor key sites.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The head of the African Union has urged the United Nations to add human rights monitoring to the tasks of its peacekeeping mission in the disputed North African territory of Western Sahara.
The request came in a letter from African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. A copy of the letter was seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, April 3 (Reuters) – Iranians
celebrated in the streets after negotiators reached a framework
for a nuclear deal that could bring their country in from the
cold, hailed by U.S. President Barack Obama as an “historic
understanding” with an old adversary.
The tentative agreement, struck on Thursday after eight days
of talks in Switzerland, clears the way for negotiations on a
settlement aimed at allaying Western fears that Iran was seeking
to build an atomic bomb and in return lift economic sanctions on
the Islamic Republic.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Iran and world powers reached a framework agreement on Thursday on curbing Iran’s nuclear program for at least a decade, a step toward a final pact that could end 12 years of brinkmanship, threats and confrontation.
The tentative agreement, after eight days of marathon talks in Switzerland, clears the way for negotiations on a settlement aimed at allaying Western fears that Iran was seeking to build an atomic bomb and in return lift economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – When Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on Wednesday that a framework nuclear deal had been reached between Iran and major world powers, the French delegation to the talks thought it was an April Fool’s Day joke.
In the end, a deal was reached a day later. But after eight days of talking, with a Tuesday midnight deadline already history, it had gone to the wire and beyond.