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Top UN Envoy Discusses Status Issues

Top UN Envoy Discusses Status Issue During Visit To Disputed Iraqi City

New York, Dec 16 2008 10:10AM

The top United Nations official in Iraq held talks today with local leaders and representatives of the various communities in Kirkuk, where the world body is assisting with efforts to resolve the eventual status of the oil-rich northern city.

Staffan de Mistura’s visit comes just days after a tragic bombing that killed and wounded dozens of civilians at a popular restaurant on 11 December, as families celebrated the end of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

The Special Representative of the Secretary General used the visit to stress the UN’s readiness to assist with the efforts to resolve the status of the ethnically divided city. He is also exploring ways in which the UN can boost its contribution for reconstruction and development in Kirkuk.

Mr. de Mistura met with members of the Kirkuk Provincial Council, the heads of different political parties, and religious, civil society and tribal leaders.

During the discussions, several people offered ideas on how the UN can increase its engagement with the people of the city.

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), which is headed by Mr. de Mistura, has been assisting the country’s efforts related to the holding of provincial elections and internal boundary issues such as the eventual status of Kirkuk. It is also working to promote human rights and provide humanitarian assistance.

ENDS

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