The deal was brokered over last weekend but sporadic skirmishes continue
An agreement to halt fighting and withdraw heavy weapons from the front line in eastern Ukraine came into force last Monday, after it was brokered over the weekend, news wires reported. Over the next days the truce was said to be largely holding, despite the Ukrainian army reporting one soldier being killed and another injured in the past 24 hours. According to separatist commanders, there had been very little fighting.
Ground offensive on western half of the city starts
Iraqi federal police forces, backed by US air support, last Thursday took control of IS-held Mosul airport. "We have entered the airport and engineering units are clearing the roads," Hisham Abdul Kadhem, commander of the Rapid Response's Scorpion Regiment, told AFP inside the airport. Earlier in the week Iraqi forces, with aerial support from the US-led coalition, pushed back IS fighters.
 
Azerbaijan's separatist Nagorny Karabakh region voted last Monday in a referendum on presidential powers that international observers warned was illegal and obstructed efforts to end the long-lasting conflict, news wires reported.
 
Asia, Middle East buy most arms
Transfers of major weapons in 2012–16 reached their highest volume for any five-year period since the end of the cold war, according to new data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Dim expectations from Geneva meeting on Syria
Syrian peace talks under the auspices of the UN resumed in Geneva last Thursday, 10 months after falling apart over escalating bloodshed in the war-torn country.
Cyprus talks stumble due to commemoration row
Ongoing talks to reunify Cyprus have hit a hard wall after the Turkish Cypriot side decided not to attend a scheduled meeting between the island's leaders over a Greek Cypriot decision to celebrate a nationalist commemoration at schools, news wires reported.
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