Here is a round-up of global news developments:
- Members of the International Syria Support Group are meeting in the German city of Munich to keep the Syria peace process alive. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow has made a specific proposal for a ceasefire in Syria and is waiting for Washington’s response.
- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has strongly warned against any foreign intervention in Syria. Medvedev said the war in Syria must be ended through talks QUOTE instead of unleashing a new world war. He also urged the U-S and its Arab allies to decide if they want a permanent war.
- The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council reveals U-S Republicans’ pressure to delay last month’s prisoner swap between the two countries. Ali Shamkhani says U-S Republicans were asking for the inmates not to be released until the run-up to the U-S presidential election.
- The U-N human rights investigator for Gaza and the West Bank has voiced concern regarding Israel’s use of excessive force against the Palestinians. Makarim Wibisonosays the upsurge in violence is a grim reminder of the unsustainable human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian territory.
- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has called on the Kurdistan Regional Government to drop any plan for independence. Abadi said the Kurdistan region will not develop without Iraq. He said Kurdistan is part of Iraq and should remain so. The Iraqi PM was speaking after K-R-G officials said they plan a statehood referendum.
- French President Francois Hollande has restored former prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to the government as foreign minister. The 66-year-old politician will take over from Laurent Fabius. This is part of a cabinet reshuffle the French president hopes would win him public support in the upcoming election.
- Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has lashed out at the European Union's austerity policies, accusing the EU of continuing with a now-defunct economic agenda. Renzi said the current approach is hindering EU's progress while giving the US an opportunity to expand its grip over global economy.
- Over 20 people have been wounded in a grenade attack that struck a market in the Burundian capital Bujumbura. Witnesses say two men on a motorcycle threw the grenade into a crowd. Violence surged in Burundi after its president sought a third term despite protests.