UN council backs new chief of Yemen mission

A Yemeni child lies on a hospital bed as people from Hodeida receive medical care at a hospital in Khokha, near Yemen's flashpoint port city of Hodeida, on January 21, 2019. (AFP / Saleh Al-OBEIDI)
Updated 31 January 2019
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UN council backs new chief of Yemen mission

  • UN chief Antonio Guterres had told the council he planned to appoint Lollesgaard
  • Lollesgaard will replace Dutch general Patrick Cammaert

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Wednesday endorsed the appointment of former Danish general Michael Lollesgaard to head the UN observer mission in war-wracked Yemen, diplomats said.
Lollesgaard will replace Patrick Cammaert, the Dutch general who had been tapped a little over a month ago to lead the mission deployed in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had told the council in a letter sent Monday that he planned to appoint Lollesgaard and gave the council 48 hours to raise objections.
No objections were raised before the Wednesday deadline, diplomats said.
Earlier this month, the council approved the deployment for six months of up to 75 monitors to Yemen to shore up a fragile cease-fire and oversee a pullback of forces from Hodeida.
The port of Hodeida is the entry point for the bulk of Yemen’s supplies of imported goods and humanitarian aid, providing a lifeline to millions on the brink of starvation.
UN envoy Martin Griffiths is due to brief the council behind closed doors on Thursday on his efforts to push the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Houthi rebels to abide by a cease-fire deal reached in Sweden last month.
Griffiths told Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday that the deadline for a prisoner swap and a pullback of forces from Hodeida had slipped.
Lollesgaard commanded the UN peacekeeping force in Mali (MINUSMA) from 2015 to 2016, and then became Denmark’s military representative to NATO and the European Union in 2017.

 


Iraq must not be dragged into another regional war: president

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May shakes hands with Iraq’s President Barham Salih in London, Britain June 25, 2019. (The Presidency of the Republic of Iraq Office/Reuters)
Updated 20 min 58 sec ago
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Iraq must not be dragged into another regional war: president

  • ‘We cannot afford our country to be dragged into conflict’
  • Saleh said Baghdad’s priority was ‘stability’

LONDON: Iraqi President Barham Salih said Wednesday his country must not be dragged into another conflict in the Middle East, as tensions rise over its neighbor Iran.
“We have had four decades of challenge and turmoil. We do not want to be embroiled in another war,” he said at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs think-tank in London.
“We cannot afford our country to be dragged into conflict.”
With tensions high between Iran and the United States, Salih insisted his country would not become “a staging post for belligerents.”
“We are asking everybody to cool it down... enough is enough,” he said.
“We do not want to be a victim of a conflict in Middle East. We have not finished the last one,” the Iraqi president added, referring to the US-led war on terror and battle against Daesh.
“It is in our national interests to have good relationship with Iran,” he said, whilst adding: “The US is a very important partner for Iraq.”
Salih, who took office in October, said Baghdad’s priority was “stability.”
“We need to transform Iraq from a zone of regional and proxy conflict into a zone of trade, infrastructure development, and jobs and a future for young people,” the 58-year-old said.
Salih visited British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday for talks on security cooperation and nation-building.
May said Britain “stood ready to provide further support” to the Iraqi and Kurdish security forces, her Downing Street office said.