ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN TURKEY, 16 JANUARY

SG/T/2642
28 January 2009

ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN TURKEY, 16 JANUARY

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon flew from Tel Aviv to Ankara, the Turkish capital, on Friday afternoon, 16 January.

He was met at Esenboğa Airport by Foreign Minister Ali Babacan.

They travelled to the Presidential Palace where the Secretary-General met with President Abdullah Gül.  They had a long discussion about Gaza.  The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation for Turkish efforts and initiatives to bring peace and stability to the region.  They also discussed the Egyptian peace initiative.

The Secretary-General briefed President Gül on his contacts and efforts to reach a ceasefire in Gaza.  He said that the extent of casualties and damage had reached an unbearable and unsustainable limit there.  He had urged Israel, he said, to declare a unilateral ceasefire.  The Secretary-General stressed in his conversation with President Gül the importance of Palestinian reconciliation, which he said was essential for any peace effort to succeed.

The Secretary-General and President Gül also discussed the peace process in Cyprus.

The Secretary-General also met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and attended a dinner hosted by him in the Secretary-General’s honour.

The Secretary-General flew to Beirut, Lebanon, later that evening.

For information media. Not an official record.