Ban Ki-moon to discuss Syrian settlement issues with Sergei Lavrov

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will visit Russia on May 16-19 to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday. This will be his sixth visit to Russia, the previous one took place in April 2011. On May 17 Lavrov will hold talks with Ban Ki-moon, in the course of which current international issues, including the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, as well as the crisis in Syria will be discussed.The UN Secretary-General looks forward to discussing in Moscow issues regarding the Syrian settlement, given Russia's important role in international affairs."I cannot overstate the importance of Russia in international politics and in the United Nations," Mr. Ban said. As UN Secretary-General, in his words, he plans to "discuss all the questions." "One of the most important (questions) on the agenda is the situation in Syria," RIA News quotes Ban Ki-moon.Last week, Russia and the United States put forward a joint initiative to hold an international conference to sit down at the negotiating table the Syrian authorities and the opposition. Ban Ki-moon welcomed the proposal.

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