UN Secretary General to visit Moscow June 4-6

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will pay a visit to Moscow June 4-6. This was disclosed by director of the UN Information Centre in Moscow Alexander Gorelik. According to him, in Moscow Annan will meet Russian leaders and hold detailed talks with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. He will also meet with leaders of both houses of the Russian parliament. The UN Secretary General is expected to take part in the forum Ensuring Sustained Development of Russian Cities to be held June 5 within the framework of cooperation between Russia's Gosstroi and the UN Programme for localities (Habitat). According to Gorelik, talks to be held by Kofi Annan in Moscow will focus on the situation in the Middle East adjusted for efforts taken by the international "four" (Russia, the USA, UN and European Union) to settle the Middle-East crisis. The UN Information Centre director noted that Russia and the UN have been constantly discussing the issue. Moreover, the talks will focus on the situation around Iraq, specifically, in the light of the UN SC latest decision on changing the format of sanctions against that country. The topics of particular importance will be combating international terrorism, the military operation in Afghanistan, international efforts to restore that country and other important international problems. Gorelik did not rule out either that Annan would want to share his opinion with Russian leaders on the issue of the East Timor independence. Such topics of the UN agenda as sustained development, global ecology adjusted for the forthcoming World Ecological Summit scheduled for late August-early September in Johannesburg (South Africa). Gorelik noted especially that the UN Secretary General's visit will be held after a number of key international functions with Russia's involvement - the Russian-U.S. summit in Moscow and St. Petersburg May 23-26, the Russia-NATO summit in Rome May 28 and the Russia-EU summit in Moscow May 29. According to the UN Information Centre director, the key topics on the agenda of Russia-NATO political cooperation coincide in many aspects with problems of the Russia-U.S. dialogue. Thus, in the course of the talks with UN Secretary General the Russian leaders are likely to refer to the results of the Russian-U.S. summit, Gorelik noted. Kofi Annan will visit Moscow within the framework of his tour of a number of European countries. He is expected to come to Russia from Ukraine and then go the Switzerland.

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