Israeli police refused to let the U.N.’s peace envoy to the Middle East, other diplomats and a crowd of Palestinians pass through a barricade to attend a pre-Easter ritual in the Jerusalem church that Christians revere as the burial site of Jesus, the U.N. official said on Saturday. The incident, following two days of violence at a separate holy site known as a flashpoint for Jews and Muslims, underscored rising tensions in the politically charged city ahead of Pope Francis’s Holy Land visit next month.Israel dismissed the U.N. complaint, calling it an attempt to inflate a “micro-incident” and saying police at the barricade keep people back as a crowd-control measure while there was no reported violence among the tens of thousands of Christians who thronged to the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem’s old walled city to witness the “Holy Fire” ritual. Holy Fire is a traditional Orthodox Christian ceremony at which worshippers believe a miraculous fire appears at the site identified as Jesus’s tomb every year on the day before Easter. Robert Serry, the United Nation’s peace envoy to the Middle East, said in a statement Israeli security officers had stopped a group of Palestinian worshippers and diplomats in a procession near the church, “claiming they had orders to that effect”. Serry added in separate remarks to Reuters he had waited with Italian, Norwegian and Dutch diplomats for up to a half hour, crushed by a crowd against a barricade, while Israeli officers ignored his appeals to speak with a superior. “It [...]
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday visited an ancient Christian town recaptured from rebels last week, state media said, as he seeks to persuade minorities that the government is their best protection against hardline Islamists. Assad’s Easter visit to Maaloula – a rare appearance outside central Damascus – also highlighted growing government confidence in recent gains against insurgents around the capital and along the Lebanese border. Islamist fighters, including some from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, had taken over part of Maaloula in December and held several nuns captive until releasing them in March in a prisoner-exchange deal.On Monday, government forces retook the town, which is roughly 60 km (40 miles) north of Damascus and has changed hands multiple times, the latest in a series of advances against rebels in the Qalamoun mountains region. During his visit, Assad inspected Mar Sarkis – a Greek Orthodox monastery dating to the fourth century – and damage caused “at the hands of terrorists,” state news agency SANA said, using the government’s customary term for the rebels. The agency said he also visited the Mar Thecla monastery, which also suffered damage during fighting for the town. Images published by SANA showed Assad, dressed in a beige blazer, waving and examining antiquities as he toured the area with church officials. A Reuters reporter in Maaloula on a state-organized tour said Syrian soldiers and members of the loyalist National Defense Force militia were stationed throughout the town, where homes [...]
UN Security Council meets on Ukraine at Russia’s request Russia has urged the West to do something to avoid what it calls a “civil war” from breaking out in Ukraine. Moscow requested an emergency session of the UN Security Council for Sunday.NATO meanwhile has renewed its concern within the 30-thousand Russian troops gathered about the Ukraine border. Reflecting activities on the floor, diplomatic tensions have increased dramatically enough for America to warn of tougher sanctions if Russia becomes more active in the struggle.The US ambassador for the UN, Samantha Power said: “the forces are doing, in each six or eight towns they have been performing, the identical thing. So definitely it contains the tell-tale signs of Moscow’s participation. Of course if steps such as the type we’ve observed during the last (2-3 days) several days proceed, you’re likely to visit a ramping-up of these sanctions.” Russia has responded by warning that peace talks due to occur on Thursday using the US, Ukraine and EU are actually under threat.
US warns of tougher sanctions against Russia over Ukraine America says it’ll impose stricter sanctions on Russia if it continues to do this against Ukraine. Obama will continue to support Ukraine. The risk of tougher penalties originated from the US ambassador for the UN, Samantha Power in a interview This Week.“The forces are doing in each six or eight towns they have been activing the identical thing. So definitely it contains the tell-tale signs of Moscow’s participation. Of course if steps such as the type we’ve observed during the last few days proceed, you’re likely to visit a ramping-up of these sanctions.” However, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Kyiv was “demonstrating its failure to take responsibility for the fate of the country.” Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has repeated his concern about characteristics in certain of the separatists’ look compared to that of Russian soldiers who seized control in Crimea. It uses he informed that Russia’s military manoeuvres around the Ukraine border risk stoking concerns.
G7 countries put the pressure on Moscow over Ukraine If it continues to escalate the situation in Ukraine only five days before crunch talks in Geneva, the G7 nations have raised the spectre of further sanctions on Russia. To date the EU as well as the united states have imposed sanctions against Russia in reaction to its annexation of Crimea.The G7 including the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Great Britain is currently talking tough. “The purpose is to inform you to Russia they have to move back,” described US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, continuing, “But it had been equally obvious when they don’t, when they advance, when they do items that are illegal that violate the sovereignty of Ukraine, that you will see unity on the planet in answering that.”Meanwhile, the Kremlin moved to calm fears it’d switch off gas to and through Ukraine. The nation gets 50% of its gas from Russia, a number of that will be moved to EU countries. It uses Moscow demanded the interim government in Kyiv repay the amount of money owed in unpaid fuel bills. However, Russia has hiked its rates because the change in government. Your time and effort to solve the fuel disaster, might be a warning that Russia is seeking a diplomatic solution in Ukraine.
Iranian official denied visa for UN ambassadorship The person Iran has selected for Un ambassador isn’t being allowed to the United States to begin his work in Ny. The US it has refused a visa and is worried about Hamid Abutalebi’s links to your 1979 US Embassy hostage crisis in Tehran.Iran has dismissed an US decision to refuse a credit to its planned new envoy for the Un Hamid Abutalebi. Iran said they can occupy the problem immediately using the UN and don’t possess a replacement. Abutalebi is thought to have participated in a student group that seized the US embassy and held over 50 Americans hostage for over a year.Throughout the week, both chambers unanimously passed a law denying him access, alongside anyone considered to pose a threat to national security. A spokesman for Iran’s vision towards the Us may violate international law and said the White House decision was regrettable. “It is a regrettable decision from the US Government that will be in contravention of international law, the duty of the host nation and also the natural right of sovereign member-states to select their representatives towards the Un,” spokesman Hamid Babaei said in a statement. Jay Carney, White House Spokesman, said: “We truly reveal the intention of the bill passed by Congress once we have informed Iran and the UN. We shall evaluate the legalisation and we’re doing that now…” The decision came days after negotiators from Iran, the united states and five other world powers met in Vienna for another round of nuclear talks. The veteran diplomat stated that he [...]
UN troops for CAR ‘too late’ In Central African Republic (CAR), people are welcoming an UN decision to deliver 12,000 peacekeepers for the former French colony. The United Nations says about 1.3 million people – 1 / 4 of the populace – have been in need of help.However the UN operation will begin in September. Many state that’s too late. Moustapha Naiss, a Muslim citizen residing in the capital Bangui said, “If they’d the ability they ought to have done it before the massacre began. However they weren’t here. The folks asked for help before, however they are usually late. Now they’re discussing October.”Christian local Fredithaya referred to the headgear of the UN soldiers, saying: since we’ve experienced a great deal, there’s been lots of deaths blue boots are needed by “I within Bangui. “Everywhere you try this community you will find dead bodies. So blue boots have to come easily,” she added. Hundreds have died in clashes around the capital Bangui between Muslim and Christian groups. The fighting has triggered fears of genocide. The clash was started last March when Muslim Seleka rebels seized power.
UN to send 12,000-strong peacekeeping force to Central African Republic The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a decision to deliver a-12,000 strong peacekeeping force towards the Central African Republic. France led the push for the UN to acknowledge the move-in a bid to stop the violence between Muslims and Christians that has raised fears of genocide in its former colony.The UN operation will begin in September and it’ll dominate in the African Union’s 5,600-strong pressure. The peacekeepers will be supported by French military. France currently has 2,000 troops working alongside the AU force. Hundreds have died when Muslim Seleka rebels seized power within the turmoil that was started last March.The UN election comes each day after police officers claimed at least 30 individuals were killed in fighting within the main area of Dekoa. Mainly Christian militia members attacked positions held from the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels said authorities. The United Nations says about 1.3 million people – 1 / 4 of the populace – have been in need of help.
May the Cyprus be re-united Can the island of Cyprus be re-united four decades after the UN buffer zone was established. It’s 40 years because the buffer zone was established from the Us involving the Greek and Turkish communities about the island of Cyprus.A lot of what’s there – such as the airport continues to be caught over time as peace initiatives within the four years came and gone, proof of the deep split around the Mediterranean area. It’s a place viewed only by UN peacekeepers who’ve not experienced a significant incident since 1996. Through the years some passages have now been exposed but border controls remain.Discussions on re-marriage have opened again hastened some imagine from the development of gas off the island’s shore. “At this stage, the fundamental roles of both factors are now being offered, so it’s difficult to anticipate improvement. The truth that we’ve entered into conversation again is improvement,” said Greek Cypriot Leader Nicos Anastasiades of the discussions which got underway in February when he met with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. One view of the current and what some wish may be the potential does occur within the buffer area. It’s the village of Pyla with a lot more than 1,400 Greek and Turkish citizens and also the only place around the area where both stay together. Pyla is observed as symbolic of unity.“From time to time it’s really practical to mention we’d some pros and cons, but both group leaders and community members were able to be reasonable and produce [...]
Ukraine crisis Putin ‘orders partial withdrawal’ Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a “partial withdrawal” of troops from the border with Ukraine, the German government has said. Mr Putin informed Chancellor Angela Merkel of the move in a telephone conversation, according to her office.Thousands of Russian soldiers are still said to be deployed along the border. Earlier, Ukraine condemned a visit to Crimea by Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and a delegation of government ministers. A foreign ministry spokesman in Kiev said the highest-level trip to the Black Sea peninsula by officials from Moscow since its annexation by Russia was a “crude violation” of international rules.A note protesting against the presence of an official in “the territory of another state without preliminary agreement” had been sent, he added. Crimeans voted to leave Ukraine for Russia on 16 March, in a referendum condemned as illegal by the UN General Assembly. Mr Medvedev announced that he would make Crimea a special economic zone, with tax breaks and reduced bureaucracy to attract investors. He also vowed to quickly boost salaries and pensions, and to improve education, healthcare and local infrastructure. Worst ‘overcome’ Tensions between Russia and the West rose after the overthrow of pro-Kremlin Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February, following months of street protests. Russia’s subsequent decision to annex Crimea triggered a crisis in relations. The United States and the European Union have imposed [...]