x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

UN chief in talks on flying visit to capital

Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, made a brief visit on Tuesday night as he transited through the country following his trip to Afghanistan.

ABU DHABI // Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, made a brief visit to the capital on Tuesday night as he transited through the country following his trip to Afghanistan. He is understood to have held informal meetings during his stopover, before leaving the Emirates early yesterday en route to New York. The UN observes tight security measures for high-level diplomatic missions, and officials from the world body in the UAE declined to comment on the specifics of Mr Ban's visit.

Mr Ban had been in Kabul for Tuesday's one-day international conference, which focused on foreign aid pledges as well as the eventual handover of security to Afghan troops by 2014. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, were among the officials attending the conference in the Afghan capital. Mr Ban arrived late at the conference, which he co-chaired with the Afghan president Hamid Karzai, after a Taliban rocket attack on Kabul airport forced his plane to be diverted.

Addressing the meeting, he called on Afghans to "unite in the national interest". @Email:zconstantine@thenational.ae