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Annan & Bush Plan To Meet Monday

Annan to meet Bush in Washington on Monday for wide-ranging talks

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan plans to travel to Washington on Monday to meet with United States President George W. Bush and his advisers for wide-ranging discussions including Africa, which both are currently visiting, and the Middle East.

"I think this is a good time for them to compare notes since both of them will by then have just finished their trips to Africa and I think Africa will be featuring in their talks, in particular the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Liberia," spokesperson Hua Jiang told a briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.

Mr. Annan has recently called for the dispatch of a multi-national peacekeeping force to Liberia, which has been riven by years of civil war, and there has been speculation about a possible US role in such a force.

Ms. Jiang said the two would also discuss the Middle East - where the UN and US are sponsoring the latest Israeli-Palestinian peace plan with two other members of the Diplomatic Quartet, the European Union and Russia - Iraq, Afghanistan and other issues of mutual interest including anti-terrorism and the battle against poverty and AIDS.

Mr. Annan will be accompanied by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, and Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast.


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