27 March 2007 – Continuing a diplomatic tour of the Middle East to try to address the region’s hotspots, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, where tomorrow he will address the Summit of the League of Arab States.
Mr. Ban will discuss his key concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, among other topics, with the participating Arab leaders, a UN spokesman told the press in New York today.
The Secretary-General also has meetings scheduled this evening with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
Earlier today, he met with the UN country team in Jerusalem before stopping over in Jordan, where he met the King of Jordan, who is also travelling to the Summit in Riyadh. The two discussed the Secretary-General’s recent meetings during his Middle East tour, particularly concerning the new momentum for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Speaking to the press before departing Israel yesterday, Mr. Ban said that, despite the obstacles ahead, the peace process can be advanced.
“I believe we can and must make progress in the coming weeks and months,” he said.