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Dialog and diplomacy
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Pope francis asks Israelis and palestinians courage to find a path for peace

“Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare”, the courage “to say yes to encounter and no to conflict: yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities; yes to respect for agreements and no to acts of provocation; yes to sincerity and no to duplicity”, said the Pope to Simon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas in the Vatican

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Vatican: All ready for the encounter of prayer with Simon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas

Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa O.F.M., custodian of the Holy Land, and Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, presented the details of the “Invocation for Peace” initiative scheduled to take place in the Vatican on Sunday. Pope Francis has invited the presidents of Israel and Palestine, Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas, to join him in a prayer encounter.

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Russia, China Veto on Syria

Russia an China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have referred the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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Turkey and the Internet

The EU has criticised the new Turkey’s legislation approved by the parliament that tightens the controls over the use of the Internet. The new bill would allow the authorities to block web sites without court order if their content is considered offensive or insulting. The Internet providers would be forced to give users data to the authorities, again without court order, and without notifying the users affected.

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Iran not invited to Syria peace conference

More than 30 UN member states have been invited to participate in the international conference of peace on Syria Preparations for the long-sought international conference on Syria, but Iran, the main Syrian ally, is not among them yet

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Pope Francis appeal for peace

In his first Christmas Message Urbi et Orbi from the Vatican Pope Francis made an appeal for peace, calling believers and non believers to be united in this purpose. “All united, either by prayer or by desire. But all of us, for peace,” he said.

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Jordan replaces Saudi Arabia at the Security Council

Jordan was elected to serve on the UN Security Council for two-years beginning on 1 January 2014 and fill the seat that Saudi Arabia won and rejected earlier in November.

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Syria Peace Conference set for January

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said that he would convene in Geneva on 22 January the long-sought international conference on Syria bringing together the Government and the opposition to a negotiating table for the first time since the conflict started in March 2011.

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Iran, the US and Israel

Iran and six world powers reached a deal on Tehran’s Uranium enrichment program. Obama praised the agreement as a first step that “achieves a great deal” in a peaceful way through diplomacy. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers the deal “a historic mistake” that endangers his country.

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About 40% of Syrians need humanitarian aid

The United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the UN Security Council that around 9.3 million people in Syria or about 40% of the population need humanitarian aid. That means 2 million more people in need than in September.

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