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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


DB/08/27/01
27 August 2001

DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN
FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL


The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today's noon briefing by Marie Okabe, Associate Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Good afternoon. I first would like to welcome the group of Indonesian journalists who are touring the facilities and who are joining us today. I would also hope that all of you have had a decent August so far.

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**Secretary-General in Austria

The Secretary-General and Mrs. Annan began their visit to Austria in the evening of Saturday, 25 August, this last weekend.

On Monday morning, that's this morning, the Secretary-General met first with the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention, Pino Arlacchi.

At mid-morning, the Secretary-General met with the Foreign Minister of Austria, Benita Ferrero-Waldner. During the meeting, which lasted for about an hour, they discussed many issues including the crisis in the Middle East, the Balkans and the fight against AIDS.

Following the meeting, the two principals had a brief encounter with journalists. We will have the transcript available shortly in our office. In answer to a question on the Middle East, he said that the situation “is very worrying, is tragic, we have innocent people suffering and I think the international community has an obligation to do whatever it can to bring an end to this misery.” He added, “I am worried that if we do not contain the crisis it could spread.”

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For information media - not an official record