The collapse of U.S.-Russian peace efforts in Syria would be a setback for United Nations aid operations, Stephen O'Brien, the U.N. emergency relief coordinator, told Reuters on Friday. Asked about remarks by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday that it was close to suspending talks with Russia on a ceasefire in Syria, O'Brien said: "Any breakdown is going to set us back." He said he hoped major powers on the Security Council would find "common will" to end the carnage and restore a cessation of hostilities, and at a minimum a 48-hour weekly humanitarian pause was needed to reach eastern Aleppo on "U.N. terms". O'Brien said he expected the Syrian government to respond on Friday to the U.N. proposed plan to deliver food and other goods to 960,000 people in besieged and hard-to-reach areas in Syria during October.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama did not discuss U.S. authorities' demands for Deutsche Bank to pay a fine of up to $14 billion during a phone call on Thursday, a German spokeswoman said on Friday. "The conversation with Obama concerned Ukraine and Syria, and was not about other issues," the spokeswoman told a regular government news conference in Berlin when asked whether the U.S. demand was raised during the phone call. A Finance Ministry spokesman said: "We are making no comment whatsoever on any speculation about Deutsche Bank." The German government this week denied a newspaper report that it was working on a rescue plan for the bank whose problems are sending tremors through global markets.
PARIS (AP) — Renault has reached a deal with Iran's government to open a plant making at least 150,000 vehicles a year, as European companies race for a share of Iran's market now that international sanctions have been lifted.