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DUBAI, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - The UAE, a key player in the coalition battling Huthi rebels in Yemen, on Monday warned the insurgents to withdraw unconditionally from the flashpoint port city of Hodeida, after UN peace efforts fizzled.

"There can be no conditions in any offers to withdraw," the United Arab Emirates' minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash told a press conference in Dubai.

"If the rebels wanted to set conditions, they should have thought of that a year ago... Now is not the time to negotiate."

Huthi rebels have controlled Hodeida, a key entry point for desperately-needed aid, since 2014, when they drove the government out of the capital Sanaa and seized large swathes of the country.

Gargash's statement came hours before the UN's top Yemen envoy, Martin Griffiths, was due to brief the Security Council on his efforts to end the crisis over Hodeida, whose port handles over 70 percent of Yemen's imports.

Gargash said the Saudi and UAE-led offensive aimed "to help the UN envoy in his last chance to convince the Huthis to withdraw unconditionally from the city and avoid any confrontation."

ABU DHABI, June 17, 2018 (MENA) - The UAE welcomes the efforts exerted by UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths to persuade the Houthis to hand over Hodaidah city to the legitimate Yemeni government, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said.

In a series of tweets on Twitter quoted by Al Arabiya channel, Gargash asserted that the UAE supports the efforts of Griffiths to facilitate handing over Hodaidah to the Yemeni government.

The residents of Hodaidah desire to be liberated, Gargash said, asserting that the Arab coalition will continue stepping up their military and humanitarian reinforcements to reach this urgent goal.

 

New York, UN, June 14, 2018 (News Wires)-- The United Nations has overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning Israel’s  “use of any excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force" against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Scores have died and thousands have been injured as Israeli troops have responded with live fire to protesters near a border fence.

By a vote of 120 to 8, the United Nations approved a resolution decrying the “use of live ammunition against civilian protesters, including children, as well as medical personnel and journalists” and underscoring its “grave concern at the loss of innocent lives”.

The measure also called for the creation of a mechanism to ensure the “protection of the Palestinian civilian population” and urged Israel to lift its economic blockade on an area ruled by Hamas.

In the face of persistent international criticism, the United States and Israel have accused detractors of ignoring Hamas’s role in inciting violence by firing rockets into Israel and encouraging demonstrators to rush the border.

After the UN voted down an American-authored amendment faulting Hamas, the final resolution made no mention of the designated terrorist group. It did deplore “the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas”.

In a statement after the vote, America’s ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley released a statement criticising the UN for arriving at “the morally bankrupt judgment that the recent Gaza violence is all Israel’s fault”.

“It is no wonder that no one takes the UN seriously as a force for Middle East peace”, Ms Haley said, adding that “peace will only be achieved when realities are recognised, including Israel’s legitimate security interests, and the need to end Hamas’ terrorism”.

The office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Ms Haley for a “strong statement today exposing the hypocrisy of the UN’s bias against Israel.

The contours of the debate, with Israel and America aligned in opposition to a majority of the international community, were familiar.

Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy generated an international outcry and was blasted in a separate UN resolution.

GENEVA, June 14, 2018 (News Wires) — The U.N. human rights chief is calling for a commission of inquiry to conduct an independent, international investigation into alleged rights violations in Kashmir.

A first U.N. report on the rights situation in the contested region details violations and abuses in both Indian- and Pakistani-held portions of Kashmir, and highlights “chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces.”

It adds to criticism about India’s tactics in Kashmir, saying its security forces used “excessive force that led to unlawful killings” and caused many injuries.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said the conflict “has robbed millions of their basic human rights.”

The report released Thursday, based on remote monitoring, says U.N. investigators have been denied unconditional access to either side of the Line of Control dividing Kashmir.

GENEVA, June 11, 2018 (MENA) - The UN humanitarian agency's top official for Syria is expressing concern about recent airstrikes in rebel-held Idlib province, warning that "we may have not seen the worst of the crisis" in Syria even after 7 years of war.

Panos Moumtzis of UN OCHA says military escalation could make Idlib's situation "much more complicated and brutal" than other conflict zones in Syria, according to the Daily Mail on Monday.

He said that 920,000 people were displaced within Syria between January and April, the highest number of any four-month span since the war began.

OCHA is on "high alert" for possible further displacement among the estimated 2-1/2 million people in Idlib, adding "There is no place left to go" within Syria.

CAIRO, June 10 ,2018(MENA) - Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit left for new York on Sunday to attend a high-level UN forum.

The forum will bring together UN Secretary General António Guterres and heads of a number of regional organisations.

Abul Gheit will take part in consultations on a number of Arab issues tabled on the agenda of the UN, including the Palestinian issue and the importance of providing protection for Palestinians.

Mahmoud Afifi, spokesman for the Arab League chief, said the forum is the first of its kind between the UN chief and heads of 20 regional organisations in Africa, Asia and Europe.

The forum aims at enhancing institutional cooperation between the UN and those organisations as regards conflict prevention, management and settlement.

Abul Gheit will review the pan-Arab body's vision towards many crises in the Arab region, especially the Syrian, Libyan and Yemeni crises.

He will also hold bilateral meetings with the UN chief, the head of the UN General Assembly and the head of the UN Security Council.

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