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UK takes over UN Security Council presidency: Yemen, Syria, Israel-Palestine on agenda

General view of the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East including the Question of Palestine at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States on 24 July, 2018 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]
General view of the Security Council meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States on 24 July, 2018 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]

UK Ambassador to the UN Karen Pierce took over the Security Council presidency for August on Wednesday, Anadolu reports.

At a news conference at UN headquarters, Pierce discussed the British presidency of the Security Council and their agenda for the next month.

She strongly praised Sweden, who presided over the Security Council last month.

Pierce said they planned to continue the efforts of previous presidents to get members of the council to work together in a productive manner.

“We want to focus the council on areas where we believe it can be targeted, it can be action-oriented, it can make a difference,” she said.

Among the agenda items set to be discussed this month are the use of chemical weapons in Syria, peace and security in Yemen, the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Read: UN calls on Saudi Arabia to release detained activists

Regarding Rohingya Muslims, Pierce said the UN plans to work to get Rohingya refugees back to their homes.

More than 750,000 refugees are sheltering in Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, according to Amnesty International.

On whether the Security Council aimed to resolve the political crisis in Cyprus, Pierce said “the mood in the council is that we should do everything we can to start the political process” on the island.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.

Watch: The full press conference

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