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Civilian deaths in war-torn Afghanistan hit record high: UN

The ceasefire for the first three days of Eid was marked by scenes of jubilation as security forces and Taliban fighters celebrated the Islamic holiday, raising hopes that peace was possible after nearly 17 years of conflict. But the suspension of hostilities was marred by two suicide attacks in the eastern province of Nangarhar that…

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UN Security Council to hold emergency Syria talks

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the Syrian army’s Russia-backed offensive against rebel groups that has forced some 300,000 people to flee, diplomats said. Sweden, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency, requested the closed-door meeting along with Kuwait, Swedish diplomats said Tuesday. The United Nations estimates that between…

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US presses UN Security Council to sanction Iran

The United States urged fellow UN Security Council members Wednesday to punish Iran for “malign behavior” in the Middle East, at a meeting on implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. “When confronted with a country that continually violates this council’s resolutions, it is imperative that we pursue meaningful consequences,” said Jonathan Cohen, the…

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Pakistan lends support to peace process in Afghanistan

Pakistan urged the international community and Afghanistan stakeholders to make the most out of the reconciliatory efforts in Afghanistan. Maleeha Lodhi, the permanent envoy of Pakistan to the United Nations, spoke at a debate on the situation in Afghanistan at the 15-member United Nations Security Council. She said that Pakistan would assist the process and…

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U.S. withdraws from United Nations human rights body

The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday accusing it of a “chronic bias against Israel,” a move that activists warned would make advancing human rights globally even more difficult. Standing with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Haley slammed Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting U.S. efforts to…

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Angelina Jolie calls for focus on conflict prevention

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie called Sunday for a larger focus on conflict prevention rather than responding to its repercussions, during a visit to Iraq with the UN refugee agency. “I hope that we can find the strength to find a better way forward together: so that we move into a new era of preventing conflict…

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UN envoy in Yemen for Hodeida crisis talks

The UN envoy for Yemen was in rebel-controlled capital Sanaa for a second day Sunday to hold emergency talks over the key aid port of Hodeida, where a regional coalition is battling Huthi rebel fighters. Martin Griffiths was believed to be pushing a deal for rebel leaders to cede control of the Red Sea port…

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United Nations condemns excessive Israeli force against Palestinians

The U.N. General Assembly condemned Israel on Wednesday for excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians and asked U.N. chief Antonio Guterres to recommend an “international protection mechanism” for occupied Palestinian territory. The General Assembly adopted a resolution with 120 votes in favor, eight against and 45 abstentions. It was put forward in the General…

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US vetoes UN resolution on protecting Palestinians

The United States vetoed Friday an Arab-backed UN draft resolution calling for measures to protect the Palestinians after more than 100 were killed by Israeli fire during protests at the border with Gaza. Ten countries including China, France and Russia voted in favor of the draft put forward by Kuwait on behalf of Arab countries…

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UN Security Council to meet on Gaza rocket firings on Israel

The UN Security Council will meet Wednesday to discuss Palestinian rocket strikes on Israel, at the request of the United States which wants the top UN body to strongly condemn the attacks. The rocket and mortar firings from the Gaza Strip were claimed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, prompting Israel to respond with air strikes…

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UN lifts travel ban for North Koreans to Kim-Trump summit

A UN Security Council committee has agreed to lift a travel ban on North Korean officials heading to Singapore for the planned summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un next month, diplomats said. Singapore last week asked the sanctions committee to grant an exemption to the North Korean delegation attending the June 12 summit…

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US blocks call for independent Gaza inquiry at UN: diplomats

The United States on Monday blocked the adoption of a UN Security Council statement that would have called for an independent probe of deadly violence on the Israel-Gaza border, which erupted as the new US embassy in Jerusalem was opened, diplomats said. “The Security Council expresses its outrage and sorrow at the killing of Palestinian…

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UN Security Council meets over Syria in remote Swedish farmhouse

Backåkra, Sweden: The UN Security Council met in a secluded farmhouse on the southern tip of Sweden on Saturday in a bid to overcome deep divisions over how to end the war in Syria. In a first for the Council, which normally holds its annual brainstorming session in upstate New York, the 15 ambassadors and Secretary-General…

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UN in security talks with Syria after chemical probe put on hold

UN security experts have said they were negotiating with Syrian and Russian authorities for international chemical inspectors to deploy to the site of an alleged toxic gas attack near Damascus, after a reconnaissance mission came under fire, reported AFP. The team from the world’s chemical arms watchdog has not yet been able to begin its…

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Syria chemical weapons visit postponed after gunfire: sources

THE HAGUE – The arrival of international chemical weapons inspectors at the location of a suspected poison gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma has been delayed after gunfire at the site during a visit by a U.N. security team on Tuesday, sources told Reuters. The U.N. security team entered Douma to assess the…

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Pakistan elected to two key UN bodies

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan was elected to two important United Nations’ panels on Monday, a feat that Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said was a recognition of Islamabad’s positive contribution to the work of the world body. The panels are: the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the UNICEF Executive Board.  The elections took place at a…

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US, France, Britain launch new UN bid for Syria chemical weapons probe

UNITED NATIONS: The United States, France and Britain on Saturday launched a new bid at the United Nations to investigate chemical weapons attacks in Syria, just hours after firing military strikes against Syrian targets. The three allies circulated a joint draft resolution at the Security Council that also calls for unimpeded deliveries of humanitarian aid,…

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Russia likely to call U.N. meeting over Syria attack: Russian lawmaker

Russian lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov said on Saturday that Russia was likely to call for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss U.S., British and French air strikes on Syria, RIA news agency reported. “The situation is being analysed right now. Russia will demand a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, I think,…

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U.S. envoy to U.N. says Syria used chemical weapons 50 times

UNITED NATIONS – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Friday that Washington estimates that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have used chemical weapons at least 50 times during the seven-year-long conflict. “Our President has not yet made a decision about possible action in Syria. But should the United States and our…

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Russia vetoes UN bid to set up Syria chemical weapons probe

UNITED NATIONS: Russia on Tuesday vetoed a US-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution that would have set up an investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria following an alleged toxic gas attack in rebel-held Douma. It was the 12th time that Russia has used its veto power at the council to block action targeting its…

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‘World must see justice done’ in Syria: Haley

UNITED NATIONS: US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Monday urged the United Nations Security Council to act following the latest alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, warning the United States was ready to respond. Russia said a US military strike against Syria would have “grave repercussions” and stressed that the use of chlorine or sarin had…

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