UNITED NATIONS: Concluding the official leg of his US tour, Foreign Minister, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Thursday met the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The Afghan Ambassador to the UN, Zahir Tanin, accompanied the Foreign Minister during the meeting with Ban during which the two leaders discussed about the upcoming Paris conference. Spanta is also understood to have briefed the Secretary General about the current security situation in Afghanistan, the status of the fight against terrorism and the progress in the counter-narcotics operation.
Earlier in the day, Spanta attended a luncheon meeting with members of the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think-tank body. The current situation in Afghanistan and status of the fight against the Taliban were the focus of the free and frank discussion at the close door meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations. During his week-long trip to the US, Spanta met a number of top Bush Administration officials, including the Vice President, Dick Cheney; Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice; Defense Secretary, Robert Gates; and the National Security Advisor, Steve Hadley.
While, he signed a joint Afghan-US declaration with Rice, counter-terrorism measures, cross-border activities, post election relationship with Pakistan and the upcoming Paris conference were major areas of discussions during his trip to the United States.