February 10, 2017 / 6:50 PM / 2 years ago

U.N. Secretary General kicks off Middle East tour

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses a news conference on the sides of the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was in Istanbul on Friday for talks with Turkey’s prime minister, Binali Yildirim, at the start of his first visit to the Middle East as the world body’s leader, his office said Friday.

Guterres, who left New York on Thursday, was also scheduled to meet on Saturday with Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan and then travel to Saudi Arabia.

Guterres will meet on Sunday with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and hold talks with Saudi’s crown prince and deputy crown prince.

The secretary-general’s regional tour will also take him to United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Egypt. He will then travel on to Bonn, Germany, for a G20 foreign ministers meeting next Thursday. Guterres was sworn in as the United Nations’ top diplomat in December.

Reporting by Ned Parker; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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