UN envoy promotes next steps in Libya peace plan

Ghassan Salame, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, talks at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:54 AM PT — Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya recently advocated for the next steps to maintain the country’s fragile ceasefire. The comments by Ghassan Salame came as representatives of the country’s warring parties spoke with UN officials in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Salame, also the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, described the ongoing efforts built on three separate tracks of economic, military and political negotiations.

The UN-brokered Libyan peace process has continued to reach its goals despite ceasefire violations by both sides. This comes as the Italian and Russian foreign ministers intend to enforce and monitor an international arms embargo on Libya.

“I thank Russia for the diplomatic efforts they made to try to find, at least, a ceasefire in Libya,” stated Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. “And if we want to achieve the objective of a ceasefire in Libya — to stop this war which is not a civil war, but a proxy war — we have to stop the arrival of arms.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, and his Italian counterpart Luigi di Maio, give a joint press conference, in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Libya has been embroiled in war since 2011, which has placed forces of Gen. Khalifa Haftar in the West against the Tripoli-based government of the prime minister.

UPDATED: Libya’s Serraj says talk about resuming peace negotiations has been overtaken by events

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Pakistani, UN officials urge Afghan peace settlement at refugee summit in Islamabad

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan addresses the Refugee Summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is on a three-day visit to meet with country’s top leadership and attend an international conference to recognize 40 years of Afghans living as refugees. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:00 PM PT — Monday, February 17, 2020

Pakistan hosted a UN Conference to discuss the future of Afghan refugees in the country.

While speaking at the Refugee Summit Monday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said the majority of Afghans exiled from their country want to eventually come back home.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, left, attends the Refugee Summit with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

“Who wants to be a refugee? It is probably the most difficult decision for a human being to leave his home.” stated Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan

Pakistan hosted roughly 1.4 million Afghans, who have been displaced due to an ongoing war.

For their part, UN officials urged a long-term peace agreement and political dialogue between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

RELATED: Sen. Rand Paul Speaks Out Against War In Afghanistan, Calls For Bringing Troops Home

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U.S.-Taliban Peace Deal to be signed at the end of month

Afghan security forces stand guard during a fight against Taliban fighters in Kunduz province north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Bashir Khan Safi)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 5:33 PM PT — Monday, February 17, 2020

A peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban is set to be signed at the end of the month. A senior Taliban official confirmed Monday both sides have finalized the agreement and it will be signed following a seven day period of reduced violence.

The U.S. and Taliban officials agreed to the truce last week and say it will take effect “very soon.”

Resolute Support (RS) forces and Afghan security personnel inspect the site of a car bomb explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

If the cease-fire holds it could lead to a broader U.S.-Taliban Deal, in which thousands of American troops will withdraw from Afghanistan and the Taliban will begin direct talks with Afghanistan leaders.

In the meantime, millions of Afghanistan refugees remain fearful and uncertain about a possible peace deal that could see them repatriated back to their home country.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper also mentioned that he has future plans to cut down the number of troops in Afghanistan from 12,000 to about 8,600. However those steps were claimed as “conditions based.”

RELATED: Pentagon: U.S., Taliban Reach Short-Term ‘Reduction In Violence’ Deal

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‘Muslims for Peace’ removes former Democrat N.Y. assemblyman for challenging Rep. Tlaib on anti-Semitism

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens as U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham testifies during a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:50 AM PT — Thursday, February 13, 2020

A former New York assemblyman was forcibly removed from an Islamic event for asking congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) about an anti-Semitic tweet.

According to reports Wednesday, Democrat Dov Hikind was kicked-out of the ‘Muslims for Peace‘ event at Rutgers University earlier this week. He was removed after demanding that Rep. Tlaib apologize for what he called “blood libel” against the Jewish community.

Last month, Tlaib retweeted a false report alleging Israelis kidnapped and killed a seven-year-old Palestinian boy. The statement sparked outrage among the Jewish community.

“And we came out here to voice our outrage that Rashida Tlaib is permitted to speak in a university,” stated protester Karen Licktbruam. “She is a known anti-Semite, she’s a Jew hater.”

Hikind warned that Tlaib’s anti-Semitism may encourage dangerous sentiments in the Islamic community going forward.

RELATED: Attorney General Barr Meets With Jewish Leaders To Discuss Ways To Combat Anti-Semitism

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‘Muslims for Peace’ removes former Democrat N.Y. assemblyman for challenging Rep. Tlaib on anti-Semitism

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens as U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham testifies during a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:50 AM PT — Thursday, February 13, 2020

A former New York assemblyman was forcibly removed from an Islamic event for asking congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) about an anti-Semitic tweet.

According to reports Wednesday, Democrat Dov Hikind was kicked-out of the ‘Muslims for Peace‘ event at Rutgers University earlier this week. He was removed after demanding that Rep. Tlaib apologize for what he called “blood libel” against the Jewish community.

Last month, Tlaib retweeted a false report alleging Israelis kidnapped and killed a seven-year-old Palestinian boy. The statement sparked outrage among the Jewish community.

“And we came out here to voice our outrage that Rashida Tlaib is permitted to speak in a university,” stated protester Karen Licktbruam. “She is a known anti-Semite, she’s a Jew hater.”

Hikind warned that Tlaib’s anti-Semitism may encourage dangerous sentiments in the Islamic community going forward.

RELATED: Attorney General Barr Meets With Jewish Leaders To Discuss Ways To Combat Anti-Semitism

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Rouhani says U.S. is a terrorist, calls on Palestinians to challenge Middle East peace plan

In this photo released by the official website of the Office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (Office of the Iranian Presidency via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:00 PM PT — Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Iran is calling on Palestinian forces to fight President Trump’s Middle East peace plan. On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced his disapproval of the proposal, calling it the “crime of the century.”

Rouhani labeled the U.S. a terrorist threat and noted the country has imposed unfair, severe economic sanctions on Iran amid nuclear talks.

“We want to talk under a free climate in which our logic is dominant…because we are right,” stated the Iranian president. “(Americans) want to make us surrender in unfair, unequal and humiliating negotiations, (but) this is impossible.”

Iran recently said it plans to increase uranium production and will no longer abide by the 2015 nuclear deal.

President Trump has called for Israeli control of the “long contested Jewish areas in the West Bank” as a condition to implement a Palestinian state.

RELATED: Iran Rejects ‘Trump Deal’ For Nuclear Program

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Israeli citizens cautiously optimistic of President Trump’s peace plan

President Donald Trump walks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, to announce the Trump administration’s much-anticipated plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:49 PM PT — Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Israeli citizens in the West Bank territory are expressing cautious optimism toward President Trump’s peace plan for Palestine. According to recent reports, Jewish settlers in the West Bank believe the president’s plan could improve security and end decades-long hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians.

However, some settlers are expressing concern over the proposed creation of the ‘Palestinian State,’ which they said could claim their land in the future. Israelis also said it’s unclear if the deal of the century can be implemented after Palestinian leaders rejected it.

“I believe it’s looking very similar to what happened in 1947,” stated one local. “To my mind, the Arabs will refuse, we shall agree and then we’ll be able to, absolutely legally, absorb parts of territories which we really have to.”

Some Israelis also said the Kingdom of Jordan is already a Palestinian state and that there is no need to establish another one.

READ MORE: President Trump Unveils Middle East Peace Plan With Two-State Solution To Israel-Palestine Conflict

Israeli border police blocks exit of the Old City’s Damascus gate ahead of a protest against Middle East peace plan announced Tuesday by US President Donald Trump, which strongly favors Israel, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

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President Trump unveils Middle East peace plan with two-state solution to Israel-Palestine conflict

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump stand on stage together during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, to announce the Trump administration’s much-anticipated plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 12:55 PM PT — Tuesday, January 28, 2020

President Trump proposed a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict as he unveiled his highly anticipated Middle East peace plan. While speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House Tuesday, the president laid out his administration’s plan.

It includes a tunnel connecting the West Bank and Gaza. Additionally, President Trump said the proposal will double Palestinian territory and set its capital in Eastern Jerusalem, where the U.S. will open an embassy. The president also said his vision will end the cycle of Palestinian dependence on charity and foreign aid.

Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the president for recognizing the state of Israel and for demanding Israeli security be upheld. He said the White House peace plan would be successful because it attacks the root cause of the conflict. Netanyahu went on to call President Trump the “greatest friend” the state of Israel has ever had.

Critics have said Palestinian officials may resist the plan’s implementation as they may see it as too favorable for Israel.

RELATED: Poland, Israel condemn resurgent anti-Semitism at Auschwitz commemoration

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President Trump to unveil Middle East peace plan Tuesday

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:40 AM PT — Monday, January 27, 2020

While meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office Monday, President Trump announced his Middle East peace plan will be unveiled very soon. He confirmed he will be announcing the plan on Tuesday.

President Trump said the plan is very important to the Middle East and pointed out many Arab nations have agreed to it. He also said the plan is supported by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel’s political parties. The also president added that the Palestinians should want the peace plan.

“It’s very good for them, in fact, it’s overly good to them,” he stated. “As you know, we cut off aid to Palestinians and it’s something I don’t like to do, but we did that and we think there’s a very good chance that they’re going to want this.”

Netanyahu called President Trump the greatest friend Israel has had in the White House and said he looks forward to hearing his vision for peace.

RELATED: Israel approves travel to Saudi under limited circumstances

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Netanyahu touts visit with President Trump to discuss peace plans

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs his weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on Sunday, January 26, 2020. (Dedi Hayun/Pool Photo via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:00 PM PT — Sunday, January 26, 2020

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping to “make history” during his upcoming White House visit. He expressed enthusiasm for his meeting with President Trump shortly before leaving for Washington D.C. on Sunday.

“I depart to Washington with a sense of a great mission, great responsibility and a great opportunity,” stated Netanyahu. “I am hopeful that we will be able to make history.”

The president extended invitations to both Netanyahu and the prime minister’s main rival, Benny Gantz, to discuss peace plans for the Middle East.

The prime minister said his close relationship with President Trump is incredibly beneficial for Israel and a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Tens of talks, hundreds of hours,” said Netanyahu. “In all of these conversations, I found an attentive ear in the White House for Israel’s essential needs.”

For years, the Trump administration has been working to broker a peace deal between Israel and Palestine.

READ MORE: Netanyahu Accepts President Trump’s Invite To White House To Discuss Peace Plan

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