• U.N. Reaffirms Commitment to Somalia Operations
    United Nations, Jumada II 24, 1435, Apr 24, 2014, SPA — The top U.N. envoy on Somalia on Wednesday called on the country’s international partners to increase support to humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts there, while reaffirming that the world body has no plans to withdraw amid attacks on foreign diplomats and aid workers by al-Shabaab militants.

    “It’s a moment of great new opportunities but also some significant new challenges, and I think it’s important that the international community and partners maintain their interest in Somalia and increase, if at all possible, some of the resources,” Nicholas Kay told reporters at U.N. headquarters.

    Kay, the chief of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), emphasized that increased resources are vital for humanitarian efforts, strengthening the Somali army, and supporting the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
    11:25 LOCAL TIME 08:25 GMT

  • Obama Calls for Peaceful End to Island Dispute
    WASHINGTON, Jumada II 24, 1435, Apr 24, 2014, SPA — U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday that he wants to see a dispute between China and Japan over islands in the East China Sea resolved peacefully, while affirming that America’s mutual security treaty with Japan applies to the islands.
    “Historically they have been administered by Japan and we do not believe that they should be subject to change unilaterally,” Obama said at a news conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “What is a consistent part of the alliance is that the treaty covers all territories administered by Japan.”
    “The treaty between the U.S. and Japan preceded my birth, so obviously this isn’t the red line that I’m drawing,” the president said.
    Obama said he wants the maritime issue to be worked out “through dialogue.” He urged the two sides to “keep the rhetoric low.”
    11:21 LOCAL TIME 08:21 GMT