UN chief heads to Qatar and Egypt for international meetings on Libya

12 April 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to the Qatari capital, Doha, tomorrow to participate in the first meeting of the International Contact Group on Libya, where the opposition has taken up arms in a bid to oust the regime headed by Muammar al-Qadhafi.

Mr. Ban will be accompanied by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Libya, Abdul Elah al-Khatib.

The Contact Group was established following the London Conference on Libya of 31 March 2011.

On Thursday, Mr. Ban will travel to Egypt to chair a meeting of regional organizations convened in an effort to ensure continued coordination of the international response to the crisis in Libya. The meeting will be held at the headquarters of the League of Arab States in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Senior officials expected to attend include the League’s Secretary-General, Amre Moussa; the Chairman of the Commission of the African Union, Jean Ping; the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu; and Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

On Friday, the Secretary-General will start an official trip that will take him to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine and Russia.

In Prague, the Czech capital, he will meet with President Václav Klaus, Prime Minister Petr Necas and Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Schwarzenberg.

Mr. Ban will then proceed to Budapest, Hungary, for talks with President Pál Schmitt, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Foreign Minister János Martonyi. He is also scheduled to give a public lecture at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on the challenges ahead for the UN.

In Ukraine, the Secretary-General will participate in the “Kiev Summit on Safe and Innovative Use of Nuclear Energy.” He has stressed the need to reassess the international emergency response framework and the nuclear safety regime, and the summit will serve as a useful forum for those topics.

During his stay in Ukraine, Mr. Ban will also visit Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster, accompanied by President Victor Yanukovych. He will also meet with the Foreign Minister, Konstyantyn Gryshchenko.

The last stop on the Secretary-General’s itinerary will be in the Russian capital, Moscow, where he will hold talks with President Dmitry Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other officials. He will also call on Patriarch Kirill I, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.


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