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Plumbly on 1701 Report: Hizbullah, Lebanese Armed Factions Should Withdraw from Syria

United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly briefed on Wednesday the members of the Security Council on the implementation of resolution 1701.

Plumbly considered in his report that Hizbullah's arms are a “clear obstacle” facing the state, undermining its authority and preventing it from controlling all its territories.

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Yemen Cabinet Sworn in Despite Ex-Leader's Boycott Call

Yemen's new cabinet was sworn in on Sunday despite calls by former autocratic president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Shiite militias allied to him for it to be boycotted.

Twenty-nine ministers including members of Saleh's powerful General People's Congress (GPC) and others seen as close to the Shiite Huthi insurgents attended the inauguration at the presidential palace, participants said.

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U.N. Considers Adding Libya Jihadists to Terror List

France, Britain and the United States on Tuesday asked a Security Council committee to add Libyan Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia to a U.N. terror list for its ties to al-Qaida.

Ansar al-Sharia is already on the U.S. terror list for its role in the September 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

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African Union Names ex-Togo PM as Burkina Faso Envoy

The African Union has named Togo's former prime minister as special envoy to Burkina Faso following the popular uprising that toppled Blaise Compaore, a statement said Tuesday.

AU commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma named Edem Kodjo as the pan-African bloc's special envoy late on Monday, after the AU's peace and security council gave the regime two weeks to return to civilian rule.

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U.N. Warns of 'Unprecedented' Number of Foreign Jihadists

Foreign jihadists from more than 80 countries have flocked to fight in Iraq and Syria on an "unprecedented scale", according to extracts of a U.N. report published by Britain's Guardian newspaper on Friday.

Around 15,000 people have traveled to fight alongside Islamic State (IS) and other hardcore militant groups from "countries that have not previously faced challenges relating to al-Qaida," said the report.

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Israeli General Says Hizbullah Threat Greater than Gaza

Hizbullah is more dangerous than militant groups operating in the Gaza Strip, an Israeli army general said, expressing belief that the party has dug tunnels across the border from Lebanon in preparation for any future war with the Jewish State.

As a result of the greater threat from Hizbullah and in the event of a future conflict, the Israeli army will have to take “many more decisive acts and employ much more power” than it did in Gaza, Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, commander of Israeli forces on the Lebanese and Syrian fronts, told Army Radio on Wednesday.

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Roux Says STL Mandate Renewal is Certain

The head of the international tribunal's defense office, Francois Roux, has said the renewal of the court's mandate was necessary to continue the trial in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's Feb. 2005 assassination case.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon is currently hearing witness testimonies. This stage won't end by March 2015 and would be followed by the defense teams' presentation of evidence, Roux told As Safir newspaper in an interview published on Monday.

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New Zealand PM Says U.N. Seat a Win for Small States

New Zealand's election to the U.N. Security Council is a victory for small states that shows chequebook diplomacy is not needed to win a spot at the top table, Prime Minister John Key said Friday.

Key vowed that New Zealand would be a "small country with a loud voice" after securing 145 votes in the 193-nation General Assembly to win one of five coveted non-permanent seats on the council, after a tight race against Turkey and Spain.

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Plumbly Says World 'Strongly Committed' to Support Lebanese Army

The international community remains strongly committed to supporting the Lebanese army, U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly said Monday.

Plumbly told reporters following a visit to Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail that he “paid tribute to Lebanon’s security forces, particularly the army, for all the efforts and sacrifices they have made to safeguard the country in the face of grave challenges.”

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International Support Group for Lebanon Throws Weight Behind Lebanon

The International Support Group for Lebanon has condemned the hostage taking of Lebanese troops and policemen by jihadists in the northeastern border town of Arsal and reiterated a pledge to strengthen the Lebanese army to confront terrorists.

Participants in the meeting of the Group that was held in New York on Friday said that “the recent attacks by violent extremist groups in Arsal had highlighted immediate priority needs on the part of both the LAF (Lebanese Armed Forces) and the security forces, including in regard to border control and counter-terrorism.”

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