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Friday 29 August 2014

Statement by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the events in Ukraine

From the Official Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (Statements and speeches):

"The centrality given to false claims of Russian aggression and incursions by our troops and armoured vehicles in discussions of the crisis in Ukraine raises a number of serious questions.
Why do those clamouring for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council consistently block our proposals for a comprehensive discussion of the origins of the Ukrainian tragedy and for collective action on a solution that serves the interests of all Ukrainian people, and instead treat Ukraine like a bargaining chip in unilateral geopolitical schemes?

Thursday 28 August 2014

Poroshenko cancels visit to Turkey, calls urgent Security Council meeting

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has cancelled a visit to Turkey and convened an urgent national security council meeting over the situation in the Donetsk region, the presidential press service said on Thursday.

"I have decided to cancel the working visit to Turkey in connection with the sharp deterioration of the situation in the Donetsk region, in particular in the Amvrosiyevka and Starobeshevo," he said.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

IMF chief charged with ‘negligence’ over graft case

Case relates to handling of $527-million state payout to disgraced tycoon.... 

IMF chief Christine Lagarde, one of the world's most powerful women, announced Wednesday she had been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as French finance minister.

The shock announcement came a day after she was grilled for more than 15 hours by a special court in Paris that probes ministerial misconduct, the fourth time she has been questioned in a case that has long weighed upon her position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

US Aware of Egyptian, UAE Air Strikes in Libya

WASHINGTON. —The U.S. State Department on Tuesday acknowledged for the first time it was aware of air strikes in Libya by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in recent days.

Until now Washington would not talk about the involvement of Egypt and the UAE in the air strikes against militia in the capital Tripoli.

“We understand there were air strikes undertaken in recent days by the UAE and Egypt” in Libya, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a daily briefing with reporters.

Monday 25 August 2014

Ex-New York judge named to UN panel assessing war crimes in Gaza

Mary McGowan Davis is third member of panel formed out of Palestinian resolution. She replaces attorney Amal Alamuddin....

A former New York judge has been appointed the third member of a United Nations panel looking into whether Israel has committed war crimes in its conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

Mary McGowan Davis was named to the panel by the head of the UN Human Rights Council, Gabon Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella, the Associated Press reported.

Saturday 23 August 2014

Good borders make good neighbours, Merkel tells Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday the standoff over Ukraine could be solved only if control was tightened over the Ukraine-Russia border across which, the West alleges, Russia has been funnelling arms to help a separatist rebellion.

Merkel was visiting Kiev as a prelude to a meeting next week between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders that diplomats say is the best chance in months of a peace deal in eastern Ukraine, where government forces are fighting pro-Moscow rebels.

Friday 22 August 2014

UN to hold emergency meeting over Russian aid convoy

 The United Nations Security Council is to hold emergency consultations this evening after Russia sent an aid convoy rolling into eastern Ukraine.
  Lithuania requested the meeting to be held at 3pm local time (7pm Irish time) to discuss the entry of scores of trucks that Ukraine has described as an "invasion”. The Pentagon has said the US is very concerned about the movement of the convoy into the Ukraine and has urged Moscow to withdraw it immediately. 

Thursday 21 August 2014

UN: Ban fordert Waffenruhe in Ukraine für russischen Hilfskonvoi

UN-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-moon hat zu einer Waffenruhe in der Ukraine aufgerufen, damit russische Hilfslieferungen die notleidende Bevölkerung im Osten des Landes erreichen können.

Der Generalsekretär setze sich für einen Waffenstillstand und eine diplomatische Regelung, damit die Hilfe die bedürftigen Menschen erreichen könne, sagte Bans Sprecher Stéphane Dujarric am Donnerstag in New York. Zuvor bereits hatte Moskau das ukrainische Militär und die Milizen aufgefordert, für die Sicherheit des 1900-Tonnen-Hilfskonvois die Kämpfe einzustellen.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Red Cross team enters eastern Ukraine to smooth way for Russian convoy

GENEVA - Red Cross officials entered eastern Ukraine on Wednesday to smooth the planned delivery of relief supplies aboard a Russian aid convoy, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

The convoy has been stuck at the Russia-Ukraine border for nearly a week due to Ukrainian concerns it could serve as a Trojan horse to infiltrate military supplies to pro-Russian separatists in the area. Moscow says the mission is purely humanitarian in support of civilians trapped by the conflict.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Briefing Security Council, UN deputy chief urges protection for frontline ‘humanitarian heroes’

UN,19 August 2014 – United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson had one main message – “we must protect humanitarian workers” – as he marked World Humanitarian Day with a special briefing to the Security Council, addressing a subject critical to people caught in conflict.
Recalling that the Day commemorates the 19 August 2003 bombing of the UN premises at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Mr. Eliasson said the occasion is “dedicated to the memory of all the staff members and partners who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for the humanitarian imperative.”

Monday 18 August 2014

Pope backs action to protect Iraq minorities if U.N. OKs

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis on Monday endorsed the use of force to stop Islamist militants from attacking religious minorities in Iraq but said the international community — and not just one country — should decide how to intervene.

Francis also said he and his advisers were considering whether he might go to northern Iraq himself to show solidarity with persecuted Christians. But he said he was holding off for now on a decision.

Saturday 16 August 2014

Red Cross waits for Ukraine to recognise Russian aid as humanitarian

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has sent Kiev a written resolution confirming the examination of the cargo the Russian humanitarian convoy is carrying, the aid agency’s regional representative said on Saturday.

Pascal Cuttat, head of the ICRC’s regional delegation, said the Red Cross had not yet received Kiev’s reply as to whether it will recognise the convoy as humanitarian aid or not.

Thursday 14 August 2014

UN declares Iraq emergency amid clashes

Declaration of emergency will bring in more funds and aid for those displaced by fighting in the country....

The United Nations has declared its highest level of emergency in Iraq as fresh clashes between government troops and Sunni rebels killed four children west of Baghdad.
Fighting erupted early on Thursday in the rebel-held city of Fallujah, about 65km west of Baghdad.
The clashes on the city's northern outskirts killed four children, along with a woman and at least 10 fighters, said Fallujah hospital director Ahmed Shami.

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Iraq's new PM backed by US, Iran

Iraq's new prime minister-designate won swift endorsements from uneasy mutual allies the United States and Iran today as he called on political leaders to end crippling feuds that have let jihadists seize a third of the country.
Haider al-Abadi still faces opposition closer to home, where his Shi'ite party colleague Nuri al-Maliki has refused to step aside after eight years as premier that have alienated Iraq's once dominant Sunni minority and irked Washington and Tehran.

Monday 11 August 2014

EU warns Putin against action in Ukraine, including humanitarian. Russia said on Monday it had reached an agreement with Ukraine

BRUSSELS: European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso warned Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Monday (Aug 11) against any unilateral intervention in Ukraine, including for humanitarian reasons.

"Speaking with President Putin, President Barroso said that the EU would join in international efforts to assist people in need as a result of the conflict," a commission statement said. "President Barroso warned against any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, under any pretext, including humanitarian," it added.

Saturday 9 August 2014

Obama warns Iraq operation could take time

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday U.S. airstrikes have destroyed arms and equipment that Islamic State insurgents could have used to attack Erbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital, but warned the current operation in Iraq could take some time.

“I don’t think we’re going to solve this problem in weeks. This is going to take some time,” Obama told reporters.
“This is going to be a long-term project,” he said during a brief news conference before leaving Washington for a two-week vacation in Massachusetts.

Friday 8 August 2014

Ukraine: UN alarmed by intensifying clashes, mounting casualties in country’s east

UN, 8 August 2014 – A senior United Nations human rights official today declared the situation in Eastern Ukraine “extremely alarming” with intensifying fighting, mounting casualties and serious damage to infrastructure.
Briefing the Security Council, Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, expressed concern over the “rapid professionalization of armed groups, which are increasingly well-organized and equipped with heavy weaponry.”

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Russia promises "quite substantial" U.S., EU food import bans

MOSCOW - Russia will impose "quite substantial" bans on the U.S. and EU food imports and has already decided to suspend U.S. poultry imports as part of President Vladimir Putin's order to prepare a list of food import bans, its veterinary service said.
Putin signed a decree on Wednesday banning or limiting imports of agricultural products from countries which have imposed sanctions on Russia because of its support of rebels in Ukraine.
Putin ordered his government to come up with a list of goods to be banned for imports into Russia and to last one year, the Kremlin said.

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Ukraine: UN urges central registration system amid rising internal displacement

UN, 5 August 2014 – With thousands fleeing the intensifying violence in eastern Ukraine, the United Nations refugee agency today urged the Government to establish a central registration system which would help coordinate relief efforts for the already 117,000 internally displaced people (IDPs).

“In the past seven days more than 6,200 people have been forced from their homes,” Vincent Cochetel, the Director for the European Bureau at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) told reporters in Geneva today.

Monday 4 August 2014

Egypt pushes for Gaza truce, presents Palestinian demands (the Rafah border crossing)

CAIRO - Egypt asked Israel on Monday to accept a ceasefire as a first step toward comprehensive negotiations with Palestinian factions to end more than three weeks of fighting, Egyptian and Palestinian sources said.
Palestinian groups, including envoys of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, met the head of Egyptian intelligence in Cairo earlier in the day to formulate a plan to end the violence that has displaced more than one quarter of Gaza's 1.8 million people.
Immediately after the meeting, Egypt presented Israel with the key Palestinian demands: a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, an end to the blockade of the impoverished enclave and the reconstruction of the area.
An Egyptian diplomatic source said Cairo expected Israel to accept a temporary halt to the fighting to allow for talks.

Saturday 2 August 2014

Netanyahu: Hamas will pay price for more attacks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened on Saturday to exact an “intolerable price” from the Gaza Strip’s dominant Hamas Islamists should there be continued attacks from the Palestinian territory.
Netanyahu also said that Israel will continue its military campaign in Gaza for as long as needed and with as much force as necessary.
“From the beginning, we promised to return the quiet to Israel’s citizens and we will continue to act until that aim is achieved. We will take as much time as necessary, and will exert as much force as needed,” he said in a public address.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Cabinet minister said there was “no point” in trying to reach a Gaza truce with Hamas and that Israel won’t send a delegation to planned ceasefire talks in Cairo, the Associated Press reported.

Friday 1 August 2014

Wladimir Putin warnt: "Der Friede in Europa ist zerbrechlich"

Am 100. Jahrestag des Beginns des Ersten Weltkriegs hat Wladimir Putin davor gewarnt, dass der Friede in Europa zerbrechlich sei". Er sei nur durch "guten Willen und Dialog" zu erreichen.

Kremlchef Wladimir Putin hat zum 100. Jahrestag des Beginns des Ersten Weltkriegs gemahnt, dass der Friede in Europa "zerbrechlich" sei. 
Ohne den blutigen Konflikt in der Ukraine direkt zu erwähnen, sagte Putin in Moskau: "Die Menschheit sollte längst begriffen und die wichtigste Wahrheit anerkannt haben: Gewalt erzeugt Gewalt." Frieden und Wohlstand seien nur durch "guten Willen und Dialog" zu erreichen. Dies seien die Lehren aus Kriegen, sagte der Kremlchef der Agentur Interfax zufolge bei der Einweihung eines Denkmals für die Opfer des Ersten Weltkriegs.

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