UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will complete his visit to Moscow on Thursday and fly to Geneva. In the Russian capital, Annan met with Russian president Vladimir Putin, prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov and representatives of the both houses of the Russian parliament.
Vladimir Putin said, during the talks with the UN Secretary General, that he regards Kofi Annan's Moscow visit "as one more step in strengthening collaboration between Russia and the United Nations." He emphasised that Moscow regards the UN as a key organisation in strengthening the world law and order. Vladimir Putin said this is especially important now when local conflicts exist. It is precisely regional conflicts that were in the centre of attention at the talks. The Russian president pointed out that the situation in the Middle East and tension in Indian-Pakistani relations are among the most acute conflicts and arouse the greatest concern.
In this connection Annan expressed hope that the meetings of the Russian president with leaders of India and Pakistan, held on Tuesday in Almaty, will contribute to the further de-escalation of the Indian-Pakistani conflict and to the lower standoff level.