Ban briefs Council on recent trip to Iraq, Afghanistan

Amb. Yukio Takasu of Japan

9 February 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today briefed the United Nations Security Council in a closed session on his recent trip to Africa, Asia and Europe, providing a detailed report on his contacts on a range of conflicts and issues from Somalia and Zimbabwe to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq and Gaza.

It was a “very rich” report with “a lot of substance,” the Council President for February, Ambassador Yukio Takasu of Japan, told reporters afterwards, adding that Mr. Ban had emphasized the need for regional cooperation over the conflict in Afghanistan and voiced optimism on Iraq.

Mr. Ban also stressed the importance of strengthening the ceasefire and humanitarian access in Gaza and the need to resume the Middle East peace process, Mr. Takasu said.

The Secretary-General is expected to give a fuller public account of his trip at a news conference tomorrow. During two-weeks of travel he made unannounced visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, where the UN is committed to helping to bring stability, and visited both India and Pakistan. In Africa he attended an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, while in Europe he participated in the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland.


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