UN chief's plane diverted due to volcanic ashes

08:41, June 14, 2011      

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The plane of UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon on Monday was diverted to land 700 kilometers west of Buenos Aires due to the ashes from the Puyehue Volcano eruption in Chile.

Ban told reporters that he was taken to the official residence of Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez in Buenos Aires overland from Cordoba's airport in a trip which took almost eight hours.

"It has been exhausting. Six hours from Bogota, Colombia to Cordoba and then eight hours by bus, but I do not regret my decision," said Ban.

"It was a singular experience. This trip allowed me to see the landscape, relax and rest," he said.

Ban, who celebrated his 67th birthday on Monday, arrived in Argentina as part of a tour to Latin America that also includes visits in Colombia, Uruguay and Brazil in a bid to seek support for a second term as the UN's secretary-general. He held a meeting with Fernandez later on Monday.

Argentina's air space continues to be affected by the ashes from the Puyehue Volcano which erupted on June 6 for the first time since 1960. The eruption has created flight chaos across South America.

Source: Xinhua
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