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Ban Ki-Moon: King Abdullah left a 'tangible legacy'

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has paid tribute to King Abdullah, saying that he left a "tangible legacy" both at home and on the world stage:

King Abdullah made major contributions to the development of the Kingdom. Under his leadership over many decades in different high-level positions in Government, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia achieved remarkable progress and prosperity for its people. The Secretary-General pays tribute to King Abdullah’s efforts to address regional and international challenges at a time of turmoil and rapid change, and to promote dialogue among the world's faiths. As the driving force behind the Arab Peace Initiative, King Abdullah left a tangible legacy that can still point the way toward peace in the Middle East.

– ban ki-moon, un secretary generAL


Ban Ki-Moon calls for 'unconditional' release of Japanese hostages

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called for the "unconditional" release of two Japanese citizens held by Islamic State militants, the Kyodo news agency reports.

His spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Ban is "obviously very concerned about the fate of these two hostages," as he is about the "fate of all people" taken by armed groups in Iraq and Syria.

UN chief: Violation of ceasefire would be 'irresponsible'

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said that any violation of the ceasefire agreed today would be "utterly irresponsible".

He said the blockade of Gaza must end, and that the territory must be brought back under the control of one legitimate Palestinian government adhering to Palestine Liberation Organisation commitments.

"Israel's legitimate security concerns must be addressed," he added.

UN chief 'deeply concerned' by Russian convoy reports

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he is deeply concerned at reports of a Russian aid convoy entering Ukraine without permission from the nation's government.

Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement: "While recognizing the deteriorating humanitarian situation, any unilateral action has the potential of exacerbating an already dangerous situation in eastern Ukraine."

Pope Francis urges UN chief to respond to Iraq crisis

Pope Francis has urged the head of the United Nations to respond to the "heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities" in Iraq.

In a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, he said:

I write to you, Mr Secretary General, and place before you the tears, the suffering and the heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities of the beloved land of Iraq.

– Pope Francis

The pontiff, who is on a visit to South Korea, has been commenting on the Iraq crisis on Twitter in recent days, and has called on Muslim religious leaders to condemn the actions of Islamic State militants.


UN: Ending conflict a matter of 'political will'

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the Israeli and Hamas leaders to "show their humanity" and added that ending the Middle East conflict was "a matter of political will".

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Credit: Tomas Oneborg / SvD / TT/TT News Agency

It's a matter of their political will. They have to show their humanity as leaders, both Israeli and Palestinian.

Why these leaders are making their people to be killed by others? It's not responsible, (it's) morally wrong.

– Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

Election announcement undermines political efforts

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon earlier this year Credit: PA Images

The U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has warned that Syria's announcement of plans for a presidential election will undermine attempts to find a political solution to the country's three-year-old civil war.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Ban Ki-Moon and Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi have "warned that the holding of elections in the current circumstances amid the ongoing conflict and massive displacement will damage the political process and hamper the prospects for a political solution."

He added: "Such elections are incompatible with the letter and spirit of the Geneva communique," referring to an agreement made in June 2012 on seeking a political transition in Syria.

Read: Syria announces date for presidential election

UN chief voices alarm over Ukraine in Putin phone call

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his alarm over the escalating Ukraine crisis in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A Russian flag flutters on a barricade in front of Kramatorsk airbase in eastern Ukraine. Credit: REUTERS/Marko Djurica

"The Secretary-General ... underlined that any deepening of the crisis would be profoundly detrimental for all concerned; hence the need for everyone to work to de-escalate the situation," a statement from Ban's office read.

Ban Ki-moon 'deeply concerned' by Crimea situation

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he was "deeply concerned" by the situation involving Ukraine and Russia at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ban is on a visit to both nations to encourage all parties involved in the crisis over Ukraine and its Crimea region, which Western nations say Russia has illegally annexed, to find a peaceful solution.

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