UN chief Ban Ki-moon to embark on Middle East tour

Monn will visit Kuwait, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan.

United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon heads Friday to France ahead of a Middle East tour that will take him to Kuwait, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan.

In Paris on Saturday Ban will meet with President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, as France seeks to organise an international conference later this year to revive the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The following day in Kuwait he will meet with the UN's envoy on the Yemen conflict, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and with Yemeni parties involved in peace negotiations, said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

He will also hold talks with the country's emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, and government members.

On Monday the UN chief heads to Jerusalem to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, and to Tel Aviv for a meeting with students.
Tuesday will take him to Gaza for a visit to a UN-run girls primary school, then on to Rawabi and Ramallah in the West Bank for talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and prime minister Rami Hamdallah.

While in France, Ban will also attend the Cannes Lions advertising festival in the Riviera city in support of efforts to promote the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and receive an honorary degree from the Pantheon-Sorbonne university in Paris.

He returns to New York on June 29. 

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