U.N.chief returns to HQ for Iraq biz

Nov. 25, 2004 at 1:53 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Thursday left Africa to return to U.N. World Headquarters in New York to deal with the situation in Iraq.

A U.N. official at headquarters told United Press International he was leaving Burkina-Faso without attending a meeting of French-speaking nations as originally planned. She said it was not yet known if he would come into his office Friday. The official had no further details of why Annan was cutting short his overseas trip.

Chief U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard Wednesday told reporters in New York Annan was considering curtailing his program "to deal with pressing business here."

A U.N. spokesman in Ouagadougou Thursday announced Annan, who just attended the international conference on Iraq in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, would return to headquarters to follow up on urgent matters "relating to the U.N. presence in Iraq."

The secretary-general told conference participants Tuesday the United Nations was committed to helping Iraq, including coordinating international aid and assisting the country's electoral authorities prepare for a Jan.30 election.

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