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UN denounces kidnapping of Turkish diplomats in Iraq

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-06-12 10:43

UNITED NATIONS -- The UN Security Council on Wednesday "strongly denounced the taking of hostages at the Turkish Consulate" in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city in the northern part of the country, and insisted on "the immediate and safe return of all personnel."

The members of the Security Council "condemned acts of violence against diplomatic and consular representatives, which endanger or take innocent lives and seriously impede the normal work of such representatives and officials," said a statement read to the press here by Vitaly Churkin, the Russian UN ambassador who holds the rotating council presidency for June.

"The members of the Security Council reiterated that no act of violence or terrorism can reverse a path towards peace, democracy and reconstruction in Iraq, underpinned by the rule of law and respect for human rights, which is supported by the people and the government of Iraq and the international community," the statement said.

Mosul, a city in northern Iraq, is the capital of the Nineveh Province, some 400 kilometers northwest of Baghdad.

Islamic insurgents seized Iraq's second largest city on Tuesday following days of fighting against Iraqi government forces. As many as 500,000 people have reportedly fled Mosul in the wake of the violence, and on Wednesday, terrorists kidnapped the consul general of Turkey and several consulate staff working in the city.

Earlier Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday said that he was shocked to learn the kidnapping of Turkish diplomats in the Iraqi city of Mosul, saying that "This is totally unacceptable."

"As secretary-general of the United Nations, I am condemning in the strongest possible terms such a terrorist attack against diplomatic officers," the secretary-general said while speaking at launching the counter-terrorism implementation task force (CTITF) web portal.

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