In his talks, Mr. Ban reiterated “the terms of the Quartet statement released at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday,” his spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters today. In that statement, the diplomatic grouping comprised of the UN, Russia, European Union (EU) and United States reaffirmed its “support for a Palestinian government committed to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Road Map.”The Quartet has for several years now been championing the so-called Road Map plan aimed at securing a two-State solution to the Middle East conflict, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace, originally slated for completion by the end of 2005. Friday’s Quartet statement also welcomed Saudi Arabia’s role in reaching the agreement to form a Palestinian National Unity government and expressed hope that the desired calm would prevail.Mr. Ban will be going to Germany next week for a meeting of the Quartet in Berlin on 21 February where the four peace brokers will continue consideration of latest developments and review the status of the agreement on the Palestinian government.In his telephone call to Mr. Olmert, Mr. Ban also expressed his concern over construction work initiated by Israel in the Old City of Jerusalem, which has been widely condemned by Arab and Muslim Governments. When asked what Mr. Ban had said, Ms. Montas said he had conveyed the concerns presented to him by UN ambassadors at the UN.UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura last week voiced “deep concern” the work and called for the suspension of any action that could exacerbate tensions. “The wisest course would be to suspend any action that could endanger the spirit of mutual respect until such time as the will to dialogue prevails once again,” Mr. Matsuura said. 12 February 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon telephoned King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over the weekend, reiterating international terms for solving the Middle East conflict that include recognition of Israel, and urging support for the Palestinian unity accord. read more

Courtesy of Arriagada family / Saskatoon tjames@postmedia.comRelated Mauricio Arriagada’s sisters want anyone with information that could lead to an arrest in connection with his death to come forward. They shared family photos with the StarPhoenix. Mauricio Arriagada’s sisters believe his death was gang-related, so they fear being identified publicly.The 45-year-old was discovered mortally injured in a residential neighbourhood in Saskatoon’s Pleasant Hill area in early July. They miss him every day, and feel confident someone out there knows enough to help police get answers.“There is someone out there that knows who murdered our brother, they cannot get away with this. Justice needs to be served,” Arriagada’s sisters wrote in a message to a StarPhoenix reporter.First responders were unable to revive Arriagada after he was found in the 300 block of Avenue T South on July 5. His death was deemed a homicide the following day — one of 11 recorded in the city this year.No arrests have been made.Arriagada’s sisters say he enjoyed dancing, drawing and playing guitar, and was known for his sense of humour.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.He turned 45 on July 1, just days before he was killed.He grew up in Lloydminster and later moved to northern Alberta, where he lived with another sister, working as a firefighter in the warmer months and as a labourer in winter. After five years, he moved back to Saskatchewan.Arriagada’s life took a turn about 20 years ago when tragedy struck: his first-born daughter was violently shaken while in the care of another man. She was nine months old. The man pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm and received a conditional sentence of two years less a day to be served in the community, the StarPhoenix reported in December 2001.Arriagada’s daughter was blinded by the assault. His sisters said she has the mental age of a six-month-old, requires a feeding tube and lives in a care home. She also has cerebral palsy.Their brother started using drugs after what happened to his child, one of his sisters said.“It spiralled, just the stress from it, not being able to care for her.”She doesn’t believe he ever received counselling, she said. His contact with his children was infrequent because of his struggles; when he was not using drugs, he was more involved in the children’s lives, she said.In a written statement, the two sisters described the difficulty Arriagada’s older children are having with their father’s death. They said his mother is grieving the loss of her son just a year and a half after her husband died. Arriagada was the fourth of five children.“He had four sisters by blood and a lot of other people who considered him their brother throughout their lives as he tended to have a soft heart and helped many when they were down on their luck,” they wrote.They want anyone with information about what happened to him to come forward. They believe someone will give Saskatoon police or Crime Stoppers the information needed to make an arrest, they said.“Our father always wanted him home, he has him home now, just not the way it was supposed to be.”  Saskatoon police investigating city’s eighth homicide of 2019 Police vow ‘no limit’ on resources to Pleasant Hill after violence, three homicides Pleasant Hill community association seeks action on boarded-up houses So far this year, Saskatoon has recorded 11 homicides and one suspicious death.When a death is classified as a homicide, that means someone is responsible for causing the death of someone else and evidence could lead investigators to lay a homicide-related charge — manslaughter, first- or second-degree murder.A death is classified as suspicious if evidence has not led investigators to lay a homicide-related charge; it may be reclassified as a homicide later on, if evidence arises that leads police to believe someone is responsible for the death.Police previously reported that nine homicides took place in Saskatoon in 2018, but in July 2019 they announced the number of homicides last year would be revised upwards by four, for a total of 13.In February 2019, Saskatoon city police become the first police service in Saskatchewan to lay manslaughter charges in connection with drug overdose deaths. Three men charged in 2018 with drug trafficking were charged in late February with four counts of manslaughter in connection with four deaths in March 2018. According to police, cocaine used by the four people who died was laced with fentanyl.Saskatoon police spokeswoman Julie Clark said a death would be reclassified as a homicide as soon as police lay a manslaughter charge. There was some confusion about how police should display the charges in their homicide numbers, since the laying of a homicide-related charge in connection with an overdose death was a first for them, she added.Statistics Canada continues to show eight 2018 homicides in its table of police-reported crimes in Saskatoon.The statistics agency calculates the number of homicides based on when the police service deemed a death a homicide. In an email, the agency said the four deaths that were determined in February to be homicides will be counted in Saskatoon’s 2019 homicide statistics.Statistics Canada did not respond to a request for clarification of the 2018 number, which appears to omit one other homicide recorded by city police. read more