UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon is in Central Asia following recent unrest in the region to discuss empowerment of women and the UN's contribution to building stability and peace with regional leaders, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said here on Tuesday.
The secretary-general is currently in the Kazakh capital of Astana for the summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), where he met with OSCE Secretary- general Marc Perrin de Brichambaut to discuss ongoing cooperation between the UN and the OSCE in reinforcing stability in Kyrgyzstan and the protection of human rights, among other topics, Haq said at a daily news briefing here.
Ban on Tuesday met with Kyrgyz president Roza Otunbayeva and congratulated her on the "peaceful" parliamentary elections in October and the "important progress in strengthening democratic institutions in the country that should include the swift formation of a coalition government," Haq said.
Otunbayeva and Ban also discussed the security situation in Kyrgyzstan and the importance of protecting the rights of refugees and reinforcing the rule of law for long-term stability, as well as the need for regional cooperation to fight terrorism, according to Haq.
The secretary-general on Tuesday also met with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, and he "highly commended" the president's cooperation and contribution to peace and stability in neighboring Kyrgyzstan, the spokesman said.
Ban also lauded the president's contribution to bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan and his visionary leadership in ensuring nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.