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Annan heads to China this weekend
Updated: 2004-10-09 16:02

Secretary-General Kofi Annan heads to China this weekend on a trip that also includes visits to Ireland and Britain.

In China, he is scheduled to meet President Hu Jintao and senior government officials, visit an HIV/AIDS testing center, and tour the center where China trains peacekeepers. He will also attend the 25th anniversary celebrations of the U.N.-China partnership, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said Thursday.

In mid-week, the secretary-general will fly to Ireland where he will meet Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, President Mary McAleese, and other officials, Eckhard said. He will also address the National Forum on Europe on cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations, and meet Irish personnel who have served in U.N. peacekeeping operations.

Annan will then stop in British-ruled Northern Ireland to give a speech on peacebuilding before heading to London where he will meet with Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair. He is also expected to attend an All Party Parliamentary Committee meeting and hold talks with non-governmental organizations, Eckhard said.

Because of security concerns, dates and times of Annan's activities were not released.

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