UN chief in India, will discuss UN reforms and global issues

October 30th, 2008 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiNew Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Thursday began his two-day visit to India, his first official visit to the country, during which the two sides will discuss a range of regional and global issues, including the UN reforms. Ban, who began his diplomatic career in South Korea’s embassy in New Delhi and has visited India earlier as his country’s foreign minister, will meet ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi later in the day.

He will hold delegation-level talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on a wide spectrum of regional and global issues, including the UN reforms, global financial crisis, food crisis, terrorism and the situation in Myanmar.

India will make a renewed pitch for a seat on the UN Security Council and the larger reforms to the global body during the discussions, official sources said.

Ban will also meet Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani, Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, later in the evening.

The UN chief will call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil Friday.

Ban’s New Delhi visit is part of his three-nation tour that also takes him to Nepal and Bangladesh - his first official trip to the region.

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