x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UN chief calls in to Abu Dhabi on way back from Kabul

Ban Ki-moon made a brief visit to the capital overnight as he passed through the country after a trip to Afghanistan for a conference.

DUBAI // Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, made a brief visit to the capital overnight as he passed through the country after a trip to Kabul for a conference. Although the UN generally observes tight security measures for high-level foreign travel, it is understood that he held informal meetings during his brief stay. He arrived in Abu Dhabi last night and left earlier this morning, en route to New York. Mr Ban had been in the Afghan capital for Tuesday's one-day conference focusing on foreign aid pledges as well as the eventual handover of security to Afghan troops by 2014. Also in attendance at the conference in Kabul were Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State.

Mr Ban arrived late to the conference, which he co-chaired with the Afghan president Hamid Karzai, after a Taliban rocket attack on Kabul airport. zconstantine@thenational.ae