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Ban Ki-moon & Angela Merkel Hold Talks In Berlin

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon And German Chancellor Angela Merkel Hold Talks In Berlin

15 July 2008 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon began a two-day visit to Germany today by meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, with whom he discussed Sudan, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Georgia/Abkhazia, Kosovo and Iran's nuclear programme.

Earlier today in the German capital, Mr. Ban met with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, with whom he discussed Cyprus. The Secretary-General held a similar meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias yesterday in Paris.

During his two-day visit to Paris, Mr. Ban discussed all aspects of the Middle East peace process in separate meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

He commended both leaders for their continued commitment to the peace process and discussed how to make vital progress in the period ahead in the bilateral negotiations on the core issues, in implementation obligations under the Road Map, in addressing immediate concerns in Gaza and solidifying the recent calm, and on the regional track between Israel and Syria.

Speaking to reporters yesterday after meeting with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Mr. Ban said he saw some encouraging developments in the situation in the Middle East in general, including the election of a president and the formation of a unity Government in Lebanon.

He also cited the agreement between Lebanon and Syria to launch a process to establish diplomatic relations and the indirect talks between Syria and Israel through the auspices of the Turkish Government as welcome developments.

ENDS

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