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In London: Annan holds talks with Blair

In London, Annan holds talks with Blair and other UK senior officials

Continuing his travels abroad, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan met in London today with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whom he briefed on his visit to Amman, Jordan, and the Quartet discussions on the Middle East, according to a UN spokesperson in New York.

The Secretary-General and Mr. Blair also reviewed the situation in Iraq, including the security situation and efforts to make political progress, spokesperson Hua Jiang said. He then raised other issues, including Liberia, Sudan, Sierra Leone, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Kosovo and UN reform. Afterward, the two men began a one-on-one meeting.

Following those talks, the Secretary-General was scheduled to go on to meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, and then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

This morning, Mr. Annan, who arrived in London yesterday afternoon from Amman, met with Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury to discuss both political and spiritual topics with him, Ms. Jiang said. They touched on Iraq, the Middle East and Africa, on the AIDS pandemic and the growth of traditional churches in Africa.

The Secretary-General briefed the Archbishop on his recent visit to the Middle East and efforts to achieve the implementation of the Road Map to a two-state solution. He emphasized the need to break the current cycle of violence and to deny "spoilers" on both sides the opportunity to disrupt the peace process. He also asked for the Archbishop's prayers in support of peace.

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