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Leaving Madagascar, Annan urges political dialogue

Departing Madagascar, Annan urges political dialogue ahead of elections

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today departed Madagascar with a call for dialogue among all political parties ahead of planned elections in the country.

Speaking to reporters before leaving the Indian Ocean nation, Mr. Annan said during meetings with its leaders he had encouraged all to engage in talks to foster conditions necessary for the polling. “I hope it will be transparent, open and equitable,” he said.

The Secretary-General voiced confidence that a genuine dialogue among all the political parties would enable them to solve many issues.

UN electoral experts have been helping to prepare for the elections, and are expected to produce a report on the process, he noted.

Asked about his forthcoming visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mr. Annan said the UN would need all possible assistance in preparing for elections to be held there in June, including from the European Union. .

In addition to going to the DRC, Mr. Annan will visit the Republic of Congo as part of his current trip to Africa.

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