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Annan And Secretary Rice Discuss Issues

At UN, Annan And Secretary Rice Discuss Broad Range Of International Issues

New York, Jun 28 2005

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met at UN Headquarters in New York today to discuss a broad range of international issues, including UN reform, the need for closer US-UN consultation on Iraq and support for the African Union's mission in Sudan's western Darfur region.

According to a readout of the meeting issued by a spokesman for the Secretary-General, Mr. Annan briefed Dr. Rice on progress on UN reform "and stressed the need for agreement on a broad package."

"The Secretary-General also expressed concern about recently adopted Congressional legislation," the spokesman said, referring to the bill passed by the US House of Representatives that set conditions for withholding the US dues to the UN budget.

On the issue of Iraq, Mr. Annan described the work of the UN electoral and constitutional teams in Iraq. "They agreed on the need to reach out to the Sunni community and that closer consultation between the United Nations and the United States would be useful and necessary," the spokesman said.

The two agreed on the need to support the African Union's (AU) peacekeeping mission in Sudan's Darfur, including providing military support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). Militias linked to the Government have been seen looting, pillaging and raping the people of Darfur, causing nearly two million either to flee to neighbouring Chad or to seek security as internally displaced people (IDPs).

Among other issues, Ms. Rice and Mr. Annan also talked about the work of the UN teams investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and verifying Syria's withdrawal from its neighbour.

Mr. Annan stressed the dire situation in Haiti and the need to press for reconciliation in the Caribbean country, the spokesman said.

They agreed that developments in Uzbekistan and its neighbours gave cause for worry. Last week senior UN human rights officials voiced concern over allegations of torture, ill-treatment and arbitrary detention there.

Mr. Annan and Ms. Rice also discussed the impending mission of the Secretary-General's Special Envoy, Ambassador Kai Eide, the Permanent Representative of Norway to NATO, to carry out a comprehensive review of the situation in Kosovo, the spokesman said.

ENDS

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