The recent unrest and pro-democracy protest movements across North Africa and the Middle East topped the agenda during talks today in Prague between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and senior officials from the Czech Republic.
Mr. Ban met President Václav Klaus and will meet with Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg later today, according to a spokesperson for the Secretary-General. The stop in Prague is the first on a four-country visit to Central and Eastern Europe that will also take in visits to Hungary, Ukraine and Russia.
Mr. Ban briefed Mr. Klaus on the latest developments in North Africa, particularly Libya and Egypt.
He stressed that the European Union has an important role to play, especially in socio-economic development, in many of the countries currently facing unrest.
The UN chief, who also met with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), noted that the Czech Republic has its own experience in managing a transition to a democracy, and could therefore make a useful contribution to the situation in North Africa and the Middle East.
Mr. Ban and Mr. Klaus also discussed the situation in the Western Balkans, global governance and the activities of the G20 group of economies.