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Constitutional committee for Syria reconvenes in Geneva

Delegations from Syria’s government, opposition and civil society began a new round of meetings in Geneva on Monday aimed at revising the constitution of the war-torn country. The fifth round of the so-called Constitutional Committee came days after UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen told the UN Security Council …

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Egyptian parliament condemns UN human rights report

Rhe human rights committee of Egypt’s House of Representatives, headed by Tarek Radwan, condemned, on Sunday, recent accusations made by the United Nations (UN) special rapporteur for human rights. The UN rapporteur, Mary Lawlor, had made the accusations on Egypt’s human rights record, describing it as “narrow” and “segmented”. The …

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Rape in Tigray with encroachment of Ethiopian forces

The UN says it has received “disturbing” reports of sexual violence and abuse in Ethiopia’s conflict-hit Tigray region, including of individuals forced to rape members of their own family. Pramila Patten, the UN’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, said she was greatly concerned by serious allegations from the …

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Biden administration promises new Iran nuclear deal

A new nuclear deal could address Iran’s aggressive policies in the Middle East, America’s next top diplomat Antony Blinken said on Tuesday. The secretary of state-designate told his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the administration of President-elect Joe Biden would seek a “longer and stronger deal.” …

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New violence erupts between Arabs, non-Arabs in Darfur

Clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs in Sudan’s West Darfur have killed at least 32 people, according to a local medical official, as Sudanese authorities imposed a round-the-clock curfew on the province. Darfur remains scarred by war after a rebellion in the early 2000s was brutally suppressed. The most recent violence …

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Jan Kubis to new UN-appointed Libya monitor

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres plans to appoint veteran diplomat Jan Kubis as his envoy in Libya nearly a year after the last mediator stepped down, according to a letter to the U.N. Security Council seen by Reuters on Thursday. If there are no objections by any of the 15-member council …

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Turkey extends law keeping Turkish troops in Libya

Turkey’s parliament extended for 18 months a law that allows the deployment of Turkish troops to Libya. The bill renewed a one-year mandate that came into force in January following a security and military agreement with the UN-backed administration in Tripoli, in western Libya. The Turkish decision Tuesday comes in …

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New coalition government forms in Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen announced on Friday a new power-sharing cabinet that would include southern separatists in the internationally-recognised government, part of a deal to end a power struggle between the nominal allies. The government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, based in the southern port of Aden, and …

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Macron wants Lebanese consensus in exchange for aid

President Emmanuel Macron will seek to revive a French initiative on Lebanon when he hosts an international aid conference on Wednesday, but with the country’s fractious political class bickering, hopes of a breakthrough appear slim. Four months after a massive explosion that killed more than 200 people and destroyed swathes …

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EU trying to force Poland to adopt gay, transexual rights

The European Union’s chief executive said on Wednesday there was no place in the bloc for so-called “LGBT-free zones”, a pointed criticism of Poland’s nationalist government pushing to curb the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “LGBTQI-free zones are humanity free zones. And they have no place in …

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Houthis put an end to all UN activities in Sanaa

The Houthi administration in Yemen has suspended all United Nations and humanitarian flights to the capital Sanaa as its Saudi-led coalition foe blocks commercial vessels in the Red Sea port of Hodeidah. The Iran-aligned Houthis took over Sanaa and most cities in 2014 after ousting the Saudi-backed government of Abd-Rabbu …

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Turkey-NATO in talks as Macron sets red lines over East Med

President Tayyip Erdogan spoke with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg about developments in the eastern Mediterranean and told him Turkey will continue to protect its rights and interests everywhere, Erdogan’s office said on Friday. Earlier, the EU’s top diplomat said the European Union is preparing sanctions against Turkey that could be …

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White House not keen on foreign intervention in Libya

The United States on Tuesday condemned all foreign military involvement in Libya, including the use of mercenaries and private military contractors, and said Libyans themselves must rebuild a unified country. U.S. President Donald Trump had spoken with several world leaders about Libya in past weeks, and it was clear there …

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Lebanon on knife edge as Rafik Hariri verdict looms

Fifteen years after a truck bomb killed Lebanon’s former Sunni leader Rafik al-Hariri in Beirut, triggering regional upheaval, a U.N.-backed court trying four suspects from Shi’ite Hezbollah delivers a verdict on Friday that could shake the country again. The defendants, members of the powerful Iran-backed group, have been tried in …

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