Ban holds talks with German foreign minister ahead of Middle East meeting

4 February 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hailed Germany’s strong commitment to the United Nations, noting that it the third-largest financial contributor and provides peacekeepers in Lebanon, Sudan and elsewhere.

“United Nations-German partnership is a cornerstone of regional and international security,” he told reporters after meeting with Germany’s Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, in Berlin.” We discussed ways to strengthen our cooperation to secure peace, advance human rights, promote sustainable development and achieve progress in disarmament and non-proliferation.”

The two men also discussed the situation in Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire and Iran, as well as the Middle East peace process, which will be the focus on Saturday of a high-level meeting in Munich of the Quartet, which is made up of the UN, European Union (EU), Russia and the United States, and is promoting a two-State solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security.

Mr. Ban will be joined at the meeting by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

On Afghanistan, the Secretary-General said he hoped Germany will continue its support over the long term as the Afghan Government carries out its commitment to deliver more effectively to its people.

“I am very much encouraged by such a strong commitment by Foreign Minister Westerwelle regarding [Germany’s] participation [and] contribution for the better future, better security of the Afghan people,” he added.

Also on Friday, the Secretary-General will address the Munich Security Conference, a major security policy conference which brings together senior figures from around the world to discuss current and future security issues.

 

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UN chief to travel to Ethiopia, United Kingdom and Germany

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will at the weekend travel to Ethiopia, where he will attend the summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa before proceeding to London for meetings next week with senior United Kingdom officials and then on to Germany.