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Ban Ki-moon arrives in Turkey for talks on Iraq

Ban Ki-moon arrives in Turkey for talks on Iraq

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived today in Istanbul where he met with Turkish leaders ahead of a planned conference on Iraq bringing together the country’s neighbours and other interested States.

The Secretary-General and his Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, travelled this morning to Ankara, where they met and had a working lunch with Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

“They discussed the ministerial meeting on Iraq that the Secretary-General will attend in Istanbul tomorrow; the issue of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK); Cyprus; and the Alliance for Civilizations,” a UN spokesperson reported.

The Secretary-General then returned to Istanbul, where he is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with League of Arab States Secretary-General Amre Moussa and with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, she said.

Mr. Ban will address the Istanbul Expanded Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Neighbouring Countries of Iraq tomorrow before returning over the weekend to New York.

The meeting will focus on ways to promote greater regional dialogue, a UN spokesperson reported earlier this week.

“The Secretary-General hopes the Istanbul meeting will be an important opportunity for the participants to find mutually acceptable solutions on issues of common concern,” Marie Okabe said Tuesday.