UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he is heading off to Asia and Europe this weekend for wide-ranging talks.
Fred Eckhard told reporters at U.N. World Headquarters in New York Thursday the secretary-general was expected to focus on cooperation with China and the European Union as well as peace-building efforts during official visits to China, Ireland and Britain next week.
In Beijing, Annan was to meet with President Hu Jintao and senior government officials, visit an eco-village and HIV/AIDS testing center and tour the Chinese peacekeeping training center at Langfang.
In Ireland, Annan was expected to meet with President Mary McAleese and government officials, address the National Forum on Europe on U.N. cooperation with the European Union and meet Irish military personnel who have served on U.N. peacekeeping missions.
Annan is supposed to deliver the Tip O'Neill Lecture at the University of Ulster on peace-building before traveling to London, where he will meet with Queen Elizabeth II and government officials, attend an all-party parliamentary committee meeting and then speak with members of non-governmental organizations.
He returns to New York the week of Oct. 18.