Annan discusses Afghanistan, other regional issues with world leaders

Annan discusses Afghanistan, other regional issues with world leaders

Secretary-General Annan and President Bush
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today met with US President George W. Bush and other world leaders to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, progress in implementing the goals of last year's Millennium Declaration and other regional issues.

According to a statement released at UN Headquarters in New York, the Secretary-General underlined to President Bush the importance he attached to the situation in the Middle East – specifically the dispute between Israelis and the Palestinians – as well as his personal involvement in peace efforts. In response, President Bush explained US efforts to move forward and emphasized the need for political will on both sides as a pre-requisite for progress.

Mr. Annan concurred with the US President's mention in his address to the UN General Assembly for the need to attack global poverty and HIV/AIDS. The two men also talked about relations between the US and the Russian Federation and the attempts by the two countries to reach agreement on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. There was also discussion of African issues, "notably the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on which the Secretary-General briefed the President on the UN's role," the statement said.

In addition to his meeting with President Bush, Mr. Annan held separate talks with the Presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Slovenia and South Africa.