World Bulletin / News Desk
Major General Robert Mood left his hotel in Damascus on Thursday to fly to Geneva after a 90-day U.N. peace monitoring mission to Syria ended, even as battles between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels raged in parts of the capital.
The observers' mandate ends on Friday, but the United Nations' 15-nation Security Council is set to decide later on Thursday whether it should be extended for 45 days.
"I leave satisfied that I, and some 400 brave women and men, have done our best, under very challenging circumstances," Mood, who led the U.N. mission, told a news conference in the Dama Rose hotel.
"For the sake of the Syrian people we need effective leadership from the Security Council and genuine unity around a political plan that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people and that is accepted by the Parties," Mood said.
"Government and opposition must be willing to make the necessary concessions and sit at the negotiating table," he added, saying there was no hope for the crisis to be resolved through fighting.
Separately, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday he was alarmed by the intensifying violence in Syria, saying he strongly condemned the bombing in Damascus on Wednesday that killed the Syrian defence minister and President Assad's brother-in-law.
Mood's farewell speech came as the U.N. Security Council was preparing to vote later on Thursday on a Western-backed resolution that threatens Syrian authorities with sanctions and is aimed at ending the 16-month conflict.
Russia, a key ally of Syria, has refused to engage in negotiations on the resolution that would extend the U.N. observer mission in Syria for 45 days and place envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, diplomats say.
U.N. monitors, who have been unable to halt the violence, suspended patrols in June after repeated attacks on convoys.
Requesting anonymity, the diplomat told The Anadolu Agency that Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra presented the initiative on Thursday during an Arab foreign ministers meeting in Egypt's resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
An HH-60 Sikorsky helicopter flew from Djibouti to recover the Saudi airmen in international waters.
Arab ground forces may possibly be needed in the next operation against the Houthi, whilst 4 tribesman were wounded during clashes with Houthi.
"The Germanised European Union is literally choking our country and tightening week by week the noose around the economy," he said.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier says negotiators 'close to end game' after years of talks.
Addressing the 26th Arab summit in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Abbas called on Arab leaders to protect the ancient city and support the resistance of its people.
The official told Reuters that Yemeni authorities had received information that Iranian experts had brought in parts for the missiles at the base, located south of Sanaa.
A large number of tents were burnt in the fire but without any casualties.
The court accused all four people of forming a cell with the aim of spying on Egypt for Israel, a judicial source said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Nusra Front and its allies have captured the north-western city. Calling themselves 'The Army of Conquest', rebels fighting for Idlib are led by al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate.
The resignation came one day after President Uhuru Kenyatta received an EACC report, which cited the names of several ministers and government officials in corruption allegations.
Spokesman Idowu told AA the situation was being addressed
Official says that attacks could last up to five or six months, hoping to restoreU.N.-backed Yemen transition. An official has also stated that Iran likely to retaliate indirectly in region as scuds observed in Yemen, pointing at Saudi territory
The UN chief said he "repeatedly condemned the attempts by the Houthis and former president [Ali Abdullah] Saleh to undermine political agreements by military force."
The AIIB has been seen as a significant setback to U.S. efforts to extend its influence in the Asia Pacific region to balance China's growing financial clout and assertiveness.
Voting will continue until the last accredited voter on line had cast his/her ballot