Iraq and Middle East events force Annan to forego Islamic summit

14 October 2003

Pressing events in Iraq and in the Middle East are keeping United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York, preventing him from attending the summit of Islamic countries in Malaysia, a UN spokesman said today.

"The Secretary-General has informed the organizers of the tenth summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is taking place this week in Putrajaya, Malaysia, that he will not be able to attend the summit due to current events in Iraq and the Middle East that make his presence at UN Headquarters imperative," spokesman Fred Eckhard said at a press briefing.

"However, he has asked Lakhdar Brahimi, his Special Representative for Afghanistan, to represent him and deliver a message to the summit on his behalf, and the Secretary-General will also speak to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohammed, this evening by telephone," Mr. Eckhard added.


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