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UN chief to start trip to Lebanon, United Arab Emirates

(Xinhua)

10:12, January 13, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon will leave for a trip to Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, according to his spokesman Martin Nesirky.

Nesirky told reporters at a daily news briefing that Ban was invited to Lebanon by President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

"In Lebanon, the secretary-general will meet the president, prime minister and speaker of parliament as well as the acting head of the opposition," Nesirky said. "The secretary-general will also visit peacekeepers from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon ( UNIFIL) and open a high-level meeting on Arab reforms and democracy organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which is based in Beirut."

According to Nesirky, Ban will then go to Abu Dhabi to attend the World Future Energy Summit and meet with his high-level group on Sustainable Energy for All, before returning to New York on Tuesday.

"He will highlight the need for sustainable energy policies to provide the world's growing population with universal energy access, improved energy efficiency, and increasing renewable energy," the spokesman said.

He added that in both Beirut and Abu Dhabi, Ban plans to hold bilateral discussions with visiting leaders.

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