Ban, Pinera meet on recent earthquake in Chile

13:38, September 23, 2010      

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UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday met with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, and the recent earthquake in the South American nation was the focus of their meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The 8.8-magnitude quake on Feb. 27 claimed the lives of more than 480 people and triggered a tsunami that devastated several coastal towns in south-central Chile.

During the meeting, the secretary-general reiterated the support of the United Nations for post-earthquake reconstruction, commending the Chilean government's response to the disaster, UN officials said.

He expressed his sympathy for the plight of miners trapped in a mine in northern Chile, wishing every success for the rescue operations. According to media reports, 33 men have been trapped thousands of feet below the ground in the San Jose gold and copper mine since early last month, and it may take months for rescuers to reach them.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of a UN high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which entered its third day on Wednesday.

Ban also welcomed Chile's progress in meeting the MDGs, the eight globally-agreed anti-poverty targets, as well as the country 's leadership in South-South cooperation.

Also on Wednesday, the MDGs were a focus of the secretary- general's talks with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parilla.

The two agreed on the need to galvanize the political will needed to meet the Goals, which have a 2015 deadline.

Ban welcomed Cuba's impressive progress toward reaching the targets, and also expressed his appreciation for Cuba's assistance to Haiti in the wake of a catastrophic earthquake in January.

Source: Xinhua


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