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Olympic Games Venue To Promote Peace & Friendship

Olympic Games offer venue to promote peace and friendship, Ban says in Beijing

2 July 2008 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today highlighted the opportunity presented by the Beijing Olympic Games to promote friendship and peace, as he toured the site where athletes and fans from around the world will gather in just over one month's time.

"I hope this Olympic Games will be the venue for all athletes and people of the world to promote their mutual understanding, harmony, reconciliation and friendship on the basis of fair competition," Mr. Ban told reporters after a visit to Birdnest Stadium, the main venue for the competitions.

The Secretary-General hailed China's preparations for the Games, stating that "the facilities and technologies all seem to be excellent.

"This is really fantastic, the most impressive that I have ever seen," he said.

"I am quite confident that the Beijing Olympic Games will be the most successful Olympics in the history of the Olympic Games," Mr. Ban added.

While in the Chinese capital, the Secretary-General will be meeting with President Hu Jintao, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other top officials.

Mr. Ban arrived in Beijing yesterday following his visit to Japan - the first stop on a three-nation tour that will also take him to the Republic of Korea before returning to Japan for the G-8 summit of major industrialized nations in Hokkaido.

ENDS

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