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Roknabadi: 4 Kidnapped Iranian Diplomats Alive in Israeli Jails

Iran’s ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi said on Thursday that four Iranian diplomats, seized in 1982 by a Christian militia in Lebanon, are still alive and being held in Israel.

“We believe that they are alive in Israeli jails. That’s why we have asked the Lebanese government to seriously follow-up the issue,” Roknabadi said following talks with Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour.

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Gadhafi Says Fight Continues against ‘Crusaders’

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi issued a defiant audio message late Wednesday saying he had his "back to the wall" but did not fear death, and the battle against the Western "crusaders" would continue "to the beyond."

"We will resist and the battle will continue to the beyond, until you're wiped out. But we will not be finished," Gadhafi said in the message broadcast on Libyan television in homage to his comrade Khuwildi Hemidi, several members of whose family were killed Monday in NATO raids on his residence.

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Ban Urges Security Council to Overcome Divisions on Syria

U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad lacked "credibility" and urged the U.N. Security Council to overcome divisions on the Syria crisis.

"I do not see much credibility (in) what he has been saying," Ban told a small group of reporters in an interview to mark his reelection as secretary general.

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EU Ambassadors Meet Miqati: Lebanese Govt. Should Respect International Commitments

European Union ambassadors stressed on Wednesday the need for the new Lebanese government to respect its international commitments, especially United Nations Security Council resolutions 1701 and 1757.

It said in a statement after holding talks with Prime Minister Najib Miqati at the Grand Serail that its policy statement should follow up on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s functioning without creating obstacles in its way.

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New AIDS Guidelines Target Global Discrimination of Gays

The World Health Organization published Tuesday new global guidelines for expanding AIDS treatment, focusing for the first time on homosexuals, who face discrimination in many countries.

"If we do not pay major attention to the epidemic in key populations, we will not be able to eliminate HIV" -- the virus that can lead to AIDS, said Gottfried Hirnschall, WHO director of the HIV/AIDS department.

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British Military Warns Riled Cameron over Afghan Drawdown

Senior British army figures on Wednesday warned David Cameron not to "fall into the trap" of a hasty Afghan troop drawdown, a day after the premier scolded the military for claiming it was overstretched.

Head of the British army General Peter Wall cast doubt on Prime Minister Cameron's 2015 deadline for the withdrawal of combat troops during an interview for a BBC documentary due to be aired Wednesday.

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Ban Ki-moon Elected for 2nd Term as U.N. Chief

The 192-nation U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday elected Ban Ki-moon for a second term as the global body's secretary general.

The assembly unanimously backed the former South Korean foreign minister by acclamation. His second five-year term will start on January 1 and run through 2016.

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U.N. Chief Urges Syria's Assad to Make Reforms

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday to make credible reforms "without delay," after the Syrian leader offered a national dialogue to end months of anti-regime protests.

"He urges the president to carry on these reforms without delay and in a way that is both genuine and credible," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

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Williams Hails Berri’s ‘Positive Role’ in Formation of Cabinet

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams welcomed on Tuesday the “positive role” played by Speaker Nabih Berri in the formation of the government.

“I welcomed the formation of the Lebanese government last week and also the particular role that Speaker Nabih Berri played, the positive role, in the formation of the government,” Williams said after holding talks with head of the Amal movement.

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Syria to Allow Red Cross Access to Unrest Areas

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday after talks with Syrian authorities that it has been granted access to areas and people affected by the unrest in the Middle Eastern country.

"The Syrian officials were receptive, and agreed to give the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent wider access to areas of unrest," said ICRC president Jakob Kellenberger.

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