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UN Chief Asks Medvedev for Support on Libya

GORKI, Moscow Region — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon courted support on Friday from President Dmitry Medvedev, who has criticized UN-sanctioned military action in Libya.

“I’d like to really count on your strong support, leadership and guidance in continuing my work as secretary-general,” Ban told Medvedev at the start of a meeting at the president’s Gorki residence.

Ban is in the final year of his term as head of the world body, and diplomats say the United States and other key Security Council members have given preliminary pledges of support for a second five-year term. But his spokesman said Ban’s comment was not intended as a request for support for a possible second term. “What he was asking for was Russia’s support for the full range of United Nations work on major topics such as climate change, developments in the Middle East and North Africa, the Korean Peninsula and nuclear safety,” spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was also in the meeting, said Russia would continue “trusting, close working contacts with the secretary-general,” but also emphasized Russia’s concerns regarding UN-mandated use of force.

Lavrov on Saturday urged Libya’s prime minister by phone to implement UN resolutions and end attacks on civilians, the ministry said Sunday.

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