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Before he addressed the annual summit, being held this year in Mozambique, the Secretary-General met with the African Union’s Heads of State at a prayer breakfast in which he said that, sadly, “so-called men of religion sometimes invoke the name of God to justify violence against their fellow human beings.””But I believe,” Mr. Annan continued, “we have a duty to love those of our own faiths, those of other faiths, and those of no faith. As leaders, we must summon the moral courage to stand against those who encourage violence and hatred. Instead, we must point the way to tolerance, understanding and the peaceful resolution of conflict.”According to a UN spokesperson in New York, the Secretary-General began the afternoon with a series of meetings in the margins of the Summit.During talks with Antoine Ghonda, the Foreign Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mr. Annan said he was disappointed that President Joseph Kabila did not come to Maputo, where he had hoped to have a summit on the DRC. The next opportunity for such a summit could be at the General Assembly in September, Mr. Annan said. He congratulated Mr. Ghonda, who was accompanied by representatives of two former parties to the conflict, as well as by a political counsellor to President Kabila, on the formation of a transitional national government, but emphasized that the fighting in the DRC has to stop.The Secretary-General also met with Tunisian Foreign Minister Habib Ben Yahia, with whom he discussed regional issues, as well as the importance of support for the Middle East Road Map; they also touched on Iraq.After that, he met with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Don McKinnon, talking with him about Zimbabwe, including the land reform plan which the Secretary-General and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) had proposed. MR. Annan then had a tête-à-tête meeting with President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone.After those meetings, the Secretary-General was scheduled to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe with Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. Then, he was to attend a banquet hosted by President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique. read more

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