Work towards two-state solution, UN chief urges Netanyahu

United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to renew his country's commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The UN chief called up Netanyahu to congratulate him on his electoral victory, and said that he looked forward to working with the new government upon its formation, the UN spokesperson's office said, according to a Xinhua report.

Ban, in his conversation with Netanyahu, reiterated that the two-state solution was the only way forward.

Myanmar urges international election monitors to follow rules

Yangon : Myanmar's Union Election Commission (UEC) has issued a notification calling on accredited international election monitors to abide by the rules of the commission during the upcoming 2015 general election tentatively set for early November.


Obama offers support to Tunisia following museum attack

Washington : US President Barack Obama called Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi to offer condolences and support following the terrorist attack that left 23 people dead at a museum in Tunis.

Obama "extended sympathy, on behalf of all Americans, to the victims' families and loved ones," and offered continued US assistance and support in the ongoing investigation, Xinhua reported citing a statement issued by the White House.


Obama orders reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent

Washington : President Barack Obama on Thursday signed an executive order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by the federal government by 40 percent over the next decade, a move made as part of his administration's efforts to fight climate change.

The executive order also set a target for 30 percent of the electricity consumed by the federal government to come from renewable sources.


Obama phones Netanyahu to congratulate him on election victory

Washington: President Barack Obama on Thursday telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him on his election victory earlier this week, a call that had been delayed after new tensions surfaced between Washington and Tel Aviv over recent comments the premier had made.

The White House said in a statement that Obama had "reaffirmed the United States' long-standing commitment to a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine".


Myanmar government, ethnic groups to discuss Kokang issue separately

Yangon : Peace negotiators of the Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups have agreed to discuss the ongoing fighting in Kokang near the border with China separately after the end of current round of talks.


Ecuador accepts Venezuela's proposal to mediate with US

Washington : Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ricardo Patino said that he has accepted Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro's proposal that he lead mediation efforts between Venezuela and US as a coordinator of a group of facilitators from several Latin American organisations.

He accepted the role "with a lot of pleasure, of course, if this could favour dialogue and reduce tensions, we would gladly do it," Patiño told Spanish news agency Efe on Wednesday.


UN rights expert urges Myanmar to end discrimination against ethnic minorities

New York : The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar Yanghee Lee on Wednesday called on the country's authorities to address ongoing challenges to the democratic reform process, UN news centre reported.

"I was very disturbed by reports on 10 March that excessive and disproportionate force had been used against students and other civilians and that 127 people were subsequently arrested," Yanghee Lee said during the presentation of her first report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.


British army begin training Ukrainian military

London : British military personnel have begun training members of the Ukrainian army fighting pro-Russian rebels, a media report said on Thursday.

The decision to this effect was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron last month, BBC reported.

Thirty-five trainers are working in the southern city of Mykolaiv and will spend about two months in the country.

They will be training forces engaged in battles in eastern Ukraine in medicine and defensive tactics, and supply non-lethal equipment.


Should have closed Guantanamo on my first day: Obama

Washington : US President Barack Obama has said that he should have closed the Guantanamo Bay prison on his first day at the White House back in 2009 when there was consensus with Republicans on its shutting down, Efe news agency reported.

Asked at an event in Cleveland, Ohio, on Wednesday what he would do if he could go back to his first day in the White House, Obama replied, "I would've closed Guantanamo on the first day."