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Annan to Visit West Africa, Germany
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UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will leave this week for a five-nation trip to Africa, and then an official visit to Germany, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced Tuesday.

During the visit, the secretary-general will attend the African Union (AU) Summit in Banjul, the Gambia, Dujarric told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.

On the summit's margins, he will hold a series of bilateral meetings, and is expected to host a mini-summit on Cote d'Ivoire which will bring together that country's President Laurent Gbagbo and other African leaders, the spokesman added.

Dujarric noted that Annan will also visit the UN Missions in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire, as well as the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

After paying a private visit to Ghana, Annan will go to Germany where he is supposed to meet with officials and ministers of the German government, including Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Horst Kohler, Dujarric said.

"While in Germany, he also hopes to attend the World Cup Final," he spokesman added.

(Xinhua News Agency June 28, 2006)

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