Tag Archives: United Nations

If the Gaza Truce Holds, What Then? 5 Possible Outcomes

How Operation Protective Edge might end — or carry on interminably

Egypt announced that Palestinian factions declared a 72-hour cease-fire to begin on Tuesday at 8 a.m. Israel sat out of the Cairo talks that produced the humanitarian truce, but said it would hold by the cease-fire, a government spokesman told TIME.Whether or not the parties actually make it through a full three days with no airstrikes or rocket attacks remains to be seen. Every other cease-fire effort undertaken since the escalation in early July has failed. But there is a more pressing question: What now? Who and what can put an end to the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Gaza — with 1,865 Palestinians and 67 Israelis killed so far – and also propose a longer-term solution?Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, on Monday offered a new idea for solving the Gaza problem: let the United Nations take control of the long-troubled territory. “Everyone is asking, what happens after the operation ends? Suppose Israel defeats Hamas. There are a few options. International control of Gaza, by the UN, should certainly be considered,” Lieberman said in a press conference. This has been tried in other war-torn locales, from Kosovo to East Timor. Why not Gaza?Well, for one thing, it would be an enormous and expensive undertaking for the international community to take responsibility for Gaza. It would also require Hamas and other militant groups to agree to participate in such a scheme, which is difficult to imagine given that they’ve built their entire identities around what they view as legitimate resistance to Israeli occupation. Still, many of the key players here say that almost a month into the bloodiest phase in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the Second Intifada, some significant change must emerge at the end of it. TIME looks at five possibilities for how this could end:

  1. Send in the UN. This would involve what’s been referred to as mini-Marshall Plan, including a massive rebuilding program that would help Gaza pick up the pieces. The task would be huge: electricity and water supplies have been compromised, and an estimated 10,000 homes have been destroyed or severely damaged. Shaul Mofaz, a former Israeli defense minister and IDF chief, has proposed some specifics. These include having the international community oversee the demilitarization of Gaza – a goal recently endorsed by Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, but opposed by Hamas – and approximately $50 billion dollars for rebuilding. EU foreign ministers issued a joint statement July 23 backing demilitarization.
  1. Bring the PA back to Gaza: Israel and Hamas will eventually be brought into some kind of proximity talks under an umbrella of Egyptian sponsorship, and the outcome of those discussions would likely involve the return of the Palestinian Authority and its security forces to Gaza, casting them in a key role as guardians of the crossing points into Israel and Egypt – along with international help. The PA, run by the PLO’s secular Fatah faction, was forced out of Gaza in 2007 as part of a violent coup staged by Hamas, whose name is an acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement. Bringing a PA political and security presence back to Gaza would help beef up the legitimacy of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. As part of such an arrangement, Israel would likely demand a joint patrolling mechanism on the Gaza perimeter to prevent infiltrations and renewed attempts to rebuild tunnels, more than 30 of which the IDF says it has destroyed. However, the rockets from Gaza did not start when Israel pulled its troops and 8,000 settlers out of Gaza in 2005, but rather, Israel points out, in 2001. Therefore, Israel is likely to refuse any agreement that doesn’t include a mechanism for preventing Hamas from rebuilding its rocket arsenal. The fact that Hamas and Fatah joined in a “reconciliation” government in April makes this form of cooperation more feasible than it was even a year ago.
  1. A ten-year truce: Almost two weeks ago, Hamas offered Israel a 10-year hudna, or Arabic truce. Its terms include – but are not limited to – the following: (1) the release of approximately 50 Palestinian prisoners who, after being released as part of Gilad Shalit deal in late 2011, were re-arrested by the IDF in June following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank (2) the opening of the border crossings with both Israel and Egypt (3) international supervision of the Gazan seaport instead of the Israeli naval blockade, as well as extended fishing rights to 10 km off the coast of Gaza, (4) an international airport under UN supervision, and (5) International forces on the borders of Gaza. Even if Israeli officials were prepared to accept all of that — which would be unlikely — they have said that the very concept of a hudna, a concept rooted in Islamic history, is problematic because it suggests Hamas only believes in a limited period of calm with the Jewish state, but refuses a more permanent solution because it seeks its destruction.
  1. Possible reoccupation of the Gaza Strip This is an option that is often mentioned by Israel’s far-right, including some members of Netanyahu’s cabinet. Coalition partner Naftali Bennett, the Minister of Economy, said last week that Israel should continue its military operating until Hamas is completely defeated. Lieberman, the foreign minister, had suggested in late June that Israel reoccupy Gaza, saying only that would stop the rockets. Ultimately, Netanyahu appears to have rejected these calls, realizing that such a move would likely cause far more bloodshed and further rattle Israel’s already compromised international legitimacy.
  1. Indefinite war In this scenario, Israel withdraws its troops and tanks from Gaza, but continues to use air and naval strikes as it sees fit. Hamas stays in power and launches rockets at Israel whenever it pleases, and essentially, nothing substantial changes from how things looked a month ago – other than a great number of destroyed buildings and upwards of 2,000 lives lost. If the parties cannot agree on a cease-fire deal that feels satisfactory, “Operation Protective Edge” could simmer down into a indeterminate cycle of occasional attacks, robbing both Israelis and Palestinians of a return to normal life. Some are hoping that the right cease-fire deal is just around the corner, and some are wishing their leaders will keep holding out for more. But the possibility of a low-level war of attrition, lasting years and costing yet more lives, is not remote.

 TIME.

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Breaking news / Israeli military starts ground operation in Gaza

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the military to start a ground operation in Gaza, his office has announced.

“The prime minister and defence minister have instructed the IDF to begin a ground operation tonight in order to hit the terror tunnels from Gaza into Israel,” the statement said.

A large IDF force has launched a new phase of Operation Protective Edge, starting a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, an IDF spokesperson has confirmed.

As reported by the Associated Press, Israel had originally organized about 48,000 reserve soldiers for the operation, but on Thursday another 18,000 were called up. It’s unclear how many are actually involved in the ongoing ground offensive.

Israel’s chief military spokesman Brig. Gen. Motti Almoz, meanwhile, urged residents in Gaza to evacuate areas in which the military is operating, since it is doing so with “very great force.”

According to the IDF statement, the goal is to target Hamas tunnels that “enable terrorists to infiltrate Israel and carry out attacks.”

“We are now continuing with the ground forces to strike terrorist infrastructure, Hamas infrastructure, in multiple areas throughout the Gaza Strip,” army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner told reporters.

“Following 10 days of Hamas attacks by land, air and sea, and after repeated rejections of offers to deescalate the situation, the Israel Defence Forces (army) has initiated a ground operation within the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said in a statement, according to AFP.

The IDF also accused Hamas of using civilian deaths to paint Israel’s actions in a negative light.

“In the face of Hamas’ tactics to leverage civilian casualties in pursuit of its terrorist goals, the IDF will continue in its unprecedented efforts to limit civilian harm,” it said.

Hamas, meanwhile, said Israel’s move is “foolish” and will have “dreadful consequences.”

Speaking with CNN, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said, “the beginning of the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza is a dangerous step with unknown consequences. Israel will pay a heavy price for it.”

Witnesses and Gaza residents reported heavy artillery and naval shelling along the Gaza border.

Israel’s latest ground operation comes after attempts to broker a cease-fire with Hamas failed to take hold. The last 10 days have seen both sides exchange rocket fire, resulting in the deaths of more than 220 Palestinians and one Israeli, with some attacks coming under intense scrutiny. Recently, four Palestinian children were killed by an Israeli airstrike while they were playing on a beach in Gaza.

Overall, Israel has struck more than 2,000 targets in Gaza, while Hamas has fired almost 1,500 rockets towards Israel.

Although both Israel and Hamas agreed to observe a brief suspension of hostilities following a request by the United Nations, reports indicated on Wednesday that Israel was considering sending boots on the ground in order to remove rockets and other weapons used by Hamas.

“The IDF’s objective as defined by the Israeli government is to establish a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security without continued indiscriminate terror, while striking a significant blow to Hamas’s terror infrastructure,” the army said in its statement.

The last time Israel launched an extensive ground offensive in Gaza was back in January 2009, following an armed conflict that began the month prior in December. That offensive, known as Operation Cast Lead, began on January 3 and was tasked with a similar objective: to secure areas from which militants were launching rockets. The entire conflict – which ran from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009 –resulted in the deaths of up to 1,417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

UN Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi steps down

After nearly two years of grappling with the various groups embroiled in the Syrian uprising, the UN and Arab League’s peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has thrown in the towel and resigned.

Reconciling the Western and Russian positions and mediating between other significant players such as Iran and Qatar proved impossible.

“It’s very sad that I leave this position and leave Syria behind in such a bad state. I have absolutely no doubt that you will continue, as you have to do everything that is humanly possible,” he said, standing alongside the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

He will officially quit his post at the end of May, more than a year after the Algerian diplomat indicated he would step down. The failure of peace talks in Geneva between the Syrian government and opposition, and President Bashar al-Assad’s decision to stand again for re-election next month proved to be the final straws.

Tunisia’s former foreign minister Kamel Morjane is thought to be the frontrunner to replace him.

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UN base in South Sudan attacked by ‘peaceful’ mob, dozens dead

Displaced people walk past a U.N. armoured vehicle inside the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camp in Malakal, Upper Nile State, March 3, 2014.

Gunmen posing as peaceful protesters forced their way inside the base of the UN mission in Bor, where some 5,000 civilians are seeking protection in the four-month-long conflict, and opened fire, reportedly killing dozens.

At least 48 people were killed and 60 wounded in a brazen attack on the fortified UN compound in northern Jonglei state, where Indian and South Korean UN peacekeepers are stationed, an anonymous UN source told Reuters.

Toby Lanzer, the UN’s top aid official in South Sudan, told the BBC there was a “significant loss of life,” after a mob had approached the UN compound base on Thursday morning under the pretense of wanting to present a petition.

More than 1 million people have fled their homes since violence broke out in mid-December between federal troops loyal to President Salva Kiir against rebellious troops who have sided with Riek Machar, the former vice-president, in 2013.

Tens of thousands of civilians are seeking UN protection from the conflict.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the attack on innocent civilians and UN personnel marks “serious escalation.”

According to Dujarric, the attack was planned in advance.

“The assailants – a mob of armed civilians – came to the base under the guise of peaceful demonstrators intending to present a petition to UNMISS [the UN peacekeeping mission].”

“The armed mob forced entry on to the site and opened fire on the internally displaced persons sheltering inside the base,” he said. “At the time of the attack there were some 5,000 displaced civilians … inside the base.”

The injured were being treated at the UN compound’s clinic.

The number of displaced civilians in the UNMISS compound has risen to 12,000, according to the UN’s website, adding that thousands of displaced persons assembled near the Bentiu Hospital and the UN World Food Program (WFP) compound.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who just one day before the attack said that up to 1 million people face potential famine as a result of the conflict, condemned the attack, which he said “constitutes a war crime.”

Despite South Sudan gaining its independence from Sudan in 2011, pockets of violence continues to disrupt parts of the landlocked country in northeastern Africa.

At the same time, the instability has put a dent in oil production, a major source of the government’s funds.

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Russia expects clear condemnation by UN and int’l community of Kiev’s actions in eastern Ukraine – Putin

Putin says Russia expects a clear condemnation by the United Nations and international community of “Kiev‘s anti-constitutional actions in eastern Ukraine“, RIA reports. Russian President Vladimir Putin talked with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the telephone on Tuesday.

“The crisis situation in Ukraine, which escalated rapidly due to the forceful operation initiated by the Kiev authorities in the country’s south-east, has been discussed,” the Kremlin press office said in a statement.

“Putin emphasized in particular that Russia expected the UN and international community to clearly condemn these anti-constitutional actions,” the document said, Interfax reports.

 The Voice of Russia

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Kiev must stop war on Ukrainians – Churkin

The international community must demand that those who are in power in Kiev stop war on their own citizens in south-eastern Ukraine, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin told the UN Security Council.

“The international community must demand the stooges of Maidan stop the war against their own people”, Churkin said at an emergency Security Council session.

Churkin stressed that “reckless actions” of the Kiev government are “threatening to rip apart the delicate garment of Ukrainian mosaic society.”

Kiev’s post-coup authorities “stubbornly,” Churkin says, refuse to listen to those who do not accept Kiev’s “radicalized, chauvinistic, russophobic, anti-Semitic forces.”

“Some, including those in this hall, constantly look for Moscow’s hand in the events in the southeast , persistently without wishing to see the true reasons of the events in Ukraine. Quit doing it,” Churkin told the meeting.

“Quit spreading tales that we built up military armadas on the border with this country, ready at any moment, within a few hours to reach almost as far as La Manche, that we sent hordes of agents to coordinate actions of the protesting people of Ukraine.”

Monstrous russophobia bordering on hatred became the norm in the Verhovna Rada, Churkin reminded. “These beings deserve only one thing – death,” Churkin quoted a recent female Svoboda party MP’s statement about protesters in the East. And such views are widely shared among her “brutal co-party members,” he added.

The people’s outcry in the East was indeed answered by Ukraine Parliament – with “draconian laws” threatening them long term imprisonment for “separatism” and “terrorism,” Churkin said.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power used a chance to accuse Russia of directly intervening and orchestrating the protests in Ukraine.

“You heard that there are no Russian troops in eastern Ukraine but the fact is that many of the armed units that we have seen were outfitted in bullet proof vests, camouflage uniforms with insignia removed,” Power said.

Armed pro-Russia protesters prepare for the battle with Ukrainian police special team on the outskirts the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 13, 2014

“We know who is behind this. Indeed the only entity in the area capable of coordinating these professional military actions is Russia,” Power claimed.

In his turn, Ukraine’s Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev said that “Russia has not only constantly been increasing its troops alongside the Ukrainian border but also sending subversive groups into Ukrainian regions in order to destabilize the situation,” accusing Russia of orchestrating a full-scale “terrorist operation” in the East.

Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin speaks at the United Nations Security Council during a meeting called by Russia April 13, 2014 at the United Nations in New York

Taking the floor for the second time, Churkin warned that the deadline was looming, and that prospects of holding negotiations next week would be undermined if Kiev uses force against its people in the East, Churkin said in his rebuttal to the accusations by other members of the UNSC.

“Let’s move aside from speculations, accusations, from searching for Russian phantoms flying all over different corners of Ukraine, but let’s concentrate attention on what we can do – in this case I’m directing my eyesight at my Western colleagues – in order to prevent the Kiev authorities’ reckless actions, which at this moment are embodied in the criminal order of Mr. Turchinov, and to prevent the realization of this order, which will have the most severe implications primarily for the people of Ukraine.”

In response to his Ukrainian colleague’s accusations that Russia is engaged in supporting terrorism in Ukraine, Churkin responded: “Why did you not accuse of terrorism those who were terrorizing your government for a span of several months?”

“Those who actually terrorized the security forces, who actually set on fire the policemen, shot at them, just like they did at those who were protesting against the authorities and seemingly acted on their side. Those people, for some reason, you did not call terrorists, and even relieved them from any liability for their criminal actions that were conducted over several months.”

Churkin called accusations against Russia “ridiculous” pointing out that Russia’s calls to start negotiations at the beginning of the crisis were ignored. “Why did you encourage this crisis?” Churkin asked.

“Russia, throughout the stretch of the Ukrainian crisis spoke out not for aggravation of the crisis, not to destabilize the country,” but to “keep the situation stable” in the neighboring country, Churkin told the UNSC, adding, “it is not our fault what we are witnessing there.”

He also questioned the role the US plays in the EU decision making process, citing the fact that Washington was quick to answer President’s Putin letter addressed to EU nations, on gas transit to Europe. “We will have to wait and see if there is any sovereignty left in the EU. Can it independently make decisions that could lead the situation out of crisis?”

Churkin also stressed that Russia repeatedly stated that constitutional reform mentioned in February 21 agreement has to be implemented to avoid the escalation of tensions. He also stressed that FM Sergey Lavrov in his conversations with his counterpart John Kerry, always tries to explain to him the position of pro-federalization activists, so the US can get a full picture of the tension in Ukraine.

And while Russia and the US continue their talks, Churkin says, some politicians in the US already state that these conversations “will not lead to anything” and are just being conducted by the US to “occupy time.”

“Occupy time? So, does that means that someone in Washington actually has something like Turchinov’s armed scenario in their heads? If so, let’s not accuse Russia of seeking to destabilize the situation.”

Churkin also accused the West of double standards, pointing out the fact that the West encouraged actions to overthrow the government in Kiev in February, while at the same time condemning the events in the East of the country, where people reject the new rule forcefully imposed on them.

Russia’s UN envoy also said that there seems to be a total disconnect in Kiev’s approach to the crisis, as the acting prime minister Yatsenyuk is talking of the possibility of referendum while Turchinov at the same time is giving crackdown orders. “It seems they prefer to use force,” Churkin said.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power speaks at the United Nations Security Council during a meeting called by Russia April 13, 2014 at the United Nations in New York

When Samantha Power took the floor for the second time she stressed the US consistently “called for de-escalation and urged restraint” when dealing with the Ukrainian crisis, saying “there has been no shortage of evidence in diplomacy.”

She once again blamed Russia for fuelling Ukrainian crisis.

“It is not the United States that escalated the situation. It is the Russian Federation,” Power said, stating that it is hard to “reconcile the behavior of the Russian Federation, the propaganda of the Russian Federation, the military actions of the Russian Federation which range from the massing of 40,000 troops at the border to the subversive activities inside Ukraine” with “this appeal for diplomacy and de-escalation, and an appeal we wish was in fact sincere.”

Power said that Russia’s point of view is “rooted in the idea that the internet does not exist” where people can see all the “evidence.” She claimed that pro-federalization rallies are not protests, but instead are a series of military operations by “professional forces, carrying weapons, Russian made weapons as it happens, carrying out sophisticated, complicated military operations across a substantial number of eastern Ukrainian cities.”

Finally, Powers said that the “credibility of the Russian Federation has been greatly undermined.”

In his final address to the council, Churkin expressed hope that his calls will eventually find some response, and the bloodshed in Ukraine will be prevented while there is still time.

“Maybe, he Vice President Biden will pick up the phone and call Mr. Turchinov, as he numerously called Mr. Yanukovich before Feb 21?” Churkin asked. “Just call to tell Mr. Turchinov the same thing he told Mr. Yanukovich. He told him, as press service of vice president reported: ‘For god’s sake don’t use force, get rid of your security forces from central Kiev.”

“And now what, the US will endorse the realization of this criminal order to use armed forces?” Churkin said, urging Samantha Power to tell Biden to “immediately” call Kiev instead of waiting for a planned visit, as “in a couple of hours the situation can take an irreversible turn.”

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting requested by Russia to discuss the Kiev’s decision to use military forces to crush protests in Eastern Ukraine.

The United Nations Security Council emergency session was requested by Russia to discuss Ukraine’s declaration of a so-called “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-federation protesters in Eastern Ukraine.

The session was initially planned to be closed, but several Security Council members were pushing for an open format.

The urgent meeting comes after the coup-imposed Kiev government authorized the use of the military in Ukraine’s south-eastern regions to supress the popular uprising.

Events on the ground have taken a very dangerous turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday, slamming the order of a full-scale military operation as “criminal.”

“The Kiev authorities, who self-proclaimed themselves as a result of a coup, have embarked on the violent military suppression of the protests,” the ministry said adding that the rallies, which have gripped the Donbas region were prompted by Kiev’s disregard of the legitimate interests the people.

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Earth Hour : Millions switch off lights around the globe to raise funds for green projects

A combination picture shows St. Basil's Cathedral before (R) and during Earth Hour in Moscow March 29, 2014.

A combination picture shows St. Basil’s Cathedral before (R) and during Earth Hour in Moscow March 29, 2014.

Millions of people from at least 150 countries all over the world are switching off their lights to celebrate a symbolic holiday, known as Earth Hour, which this year aims to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for environmental projects.

The lights dim on Saturday between 1630 GMT and 1730 GMT under the slogan “Use your Power” in some 7,000 cities all over the world.

“It’s a brilliant reminder that together we can make change happen. …It’s a moment to say you’ll do your bit to protect our planet – not just for one hour, but every day,” said a statement on the official website of the Earth Hour that leads countdown.

 This combo of pictures shows the Bulgarian National Theatre with the lights on (L) and with the lights off (R), as part of the Earth Hour in Sofia on March 23, 20

 

The United States will see the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Times Square and the Empire State building in New York switching off their lights to commemorate a symbolic holiday. Even some of the hotels and casinos in Las Vegas will be turning off their displays.

Almost 4,000 candles will spell “Lights out for the Reef” at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia as the activists are trying to attract the world attention to the problem of the Great Barrier Reef, which is highly affected by climate change.

“For us the symbolism or turning your lights off will always be important,” says Earth Hour’s CEO and co-founder, Andy Ridley, “That’s the holy grail for us – building a global collective movement, far beyond the event, where the event becomes a kind of inspiration but the movement is really the essence of it.”

The United Nations is among the organizations which will participate in the symbolic action according to the UN official website, it “is going the extra mile and turning off all non- essential lights within the UN complex in New York for three hours.” The HQs in Geneva, Switzerland and other locations will also become dark.

“I look forward to joining you on March 29 as we switch off our lights for one hour – and switch on to a cleaner, greener future, “ UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday in a video message for the opening of the WWF office in Seoul, South Korea.

Meanwhile, Ridley says that the Earth Hour is not about going back to the dark ages. The whole event shows “an idea that you as an individual can do something.”

“It is an excuse to lean over the garden fence and talk to your neighbor or a reason for people to talk to each other at a restaurant, so I never underestimate the power of that symbolism,” he said.

Earth Hour was first launched in Australia in 2007 and since then has grown to become the world’s biggest environmental event encouraging people to rethink the issues from deforestation to energy efficiency.

According to WWF, which supports the campaign, Earth Hour helped several countries to introduce new legislations. Thanks to Earth Hour campaign Argentina passed a senate bill to create a new 3.4 million-hectare marine reserve in 2013 while Uganda planted half a million trees in an “Earth Hour forest” to stop deforestation.

RT News.

 

 

 

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Obama rules out US military involvement in Ukraine

Barack Obama

The US will not get involved in a “military excursion” in Ukraine, President Barack Obama said, stressing that Washington will pursue diplomatic means in the standoff with Russia over Crimea.

“We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine,” Obama told San Diego’s KNSD TV.

“There is a better path, but I think even the Ukrainians would acknowledge that for us to engage Russia militarily would not be appropriate and would not be good for Ukraine either.”

Obama’s comments came as the UN Security Council meeting wrapped up in New York, where Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin stressed that Russia is open to dialogue.

Churkin noted that the crisis in Ukraine began when political figures and international partners forced the country into making an artificial choice between the EU and Russia. He added that Western states still do not feel discomfort placing bets on individuals who are not ready to listen to the Ukrainian people as a whole.

At the same time, Churkin told US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power to stop insulting Russia if Washington wants to see Russia’s future cooperation in the UN Security Council. During her speech, Power accused Russia of illegally annexing Crimea.

Power “dropped to the level of the tabloid press…it is simply unacceptable to listen to these insults addressed to our country,” he said.

While speaking abut the Crimean referendum, Churkin said that a historic injustice has been righted. “The people of Crimea made their choice, and this choice must be respected.”

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China : US-sponsored UN resolution on Crimea could aggravate crisis

A vote regarding the Ukrainian crisis is taken at the UN Security Council in New York March 15, 2014.

The UN Security Council resolution on Crimea vetoed by Russia on Saturday could only further worsen the Ukrainian crisis, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

A UN Security Council resolution, calling on countries not to recognize the results of the Crimean referendum, “could currently only lead to confrontation and further aggravate the situation,” according to a statement issued Sunday by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang.

“This is neither in Ukraine’s interest, nor in the interest of the international community,” the statement said. It warned all sides against taking any steps that would make the Ukrainian crisis worse.

Thirteen out of fifteen members of the UN Security Council voted March 15 in favor of the resolution, saying that the referendum in Crimea is illegitimate. Russia used its right of veto to block the resolution, while China abstained.

Following the vote, Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council that China held “an objective and fair position on the Ukraine issue,” as cited by Xinhua.

Liu said Beijing vows to “continue to mediate and promote dialogue so as to play a constructive role in bringing about a political solution to the crisis.”

Chinese ambassador to the United Nations Liu Jieyi.

The diplomat came up with three proposals. He called for setting up an international coordination mechanism to explore possibilities of a political settlement, urged all parties to refrain from escalation, and asked international financial institutions to help restore economic and financial stability in Ukraine.

Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, explained on Saturday why Russia exercised its veto right concerning the draft resolution on Ukraine.

“We cannot accept its basic assumption: to declare illegal the planned March 16 referendum where there residents of the Republic of Crimea should decide on their future,” Churkin said. “The philosophy of the authors of the draft runs counter to one of the basic principles of the international law – the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Article 1 of the UN Charter.”

Crimea is holding a referendum on Sunday, with residents choosing between the republic’s reunification with Russia or remaining part of Ukraine with broader autonomy.

The referendum was prompted by a parliamentary coup in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, where President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted from office in February. Crimean authorities did not acknowledge the new government in Kiev as legitimate and made a decision to hold a referendum on the region’s future.

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أردوغان يهدد بحظر يوتيوب وفيسبوك بعد كشف فساده المالى والسياسى

هدد رئيس الوزراء التركي رجب طيب أردوغان الخميس بحجب موقعي يوتيوب وفيسبوك في تركيا بعد الانتخابات البلدية في 30 مارس، وذلك بعد انتشار تسريبات له شخصيا تتعلق بفضيحة فساد مالي وسياسي

وفي مقابلة مع محطة التلفزيون التركية الخاصة “إي تي في”، قال أردوغان “هناك إجراءات جديدة سوف نتخذها في هذا المجال بعد 30 مارس بما في ذلك حظر يوتيوب وفيسبوك

ومنذ توجيه الاتهام في ديسمبر إلى العشرات من المقربين من النظام، رؤساء شركات ونواب وموظفون كبار يشتبه بممارستهم الفساد، تطالب المعارضة باستقالة أردوغان

وكان أردوغان وعد الأربعاء باعتزال الحياة السياسية في حال لم يربح حزبه الانتخابات البلدية في 30 مارس والتي ستكون بمثابة اختبار لنظامه

 أردوغان يهدد بحظر يوتيوب وفيسبوك – أخبار سكاي نيوز عربية.

أردوغان يعتزم ترك السياسية إن لم يفز حزبه – أخبار سكاي نيوز عربية.

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