Tags: united | nations | obama

U.N. Chief's Lag With Obama Labeled 'Disgrace'

Friday, 07 Nov 2008 10:58 AM

By Stewart Stogel

If United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wanted to hit the ground running in establishing a relationship with President-elect Barak Obama, he may have stumbled already.

Newsmax has learned that, despite Ban's publicly stated desire for a quick meeting with Obama, he has yet to send a congratulatory letter.

"It's a disgrace, they (Ban's staff) are incompetent," said a veteran of the U.N.'s department of protocol. Another protocol official cautioned, "Don't look at us. We are not involved in this, thank the Lord."

Ban spokeswoman Michelle Montas confirmed with Newsmax that a letter has not been sent but said she believed one would be. She said she did not know when.

The secretary-general, who is on a brief trip to Africa, had told reporters Wednesday that establishing a strong relationship with Obama is a top priority for him.

"As secretary-general of the U.N., I look forward to working with the new administration to fulfill our common goals and enormously important objectives. This is, I believe, an historic opportunity."

The president-elect has received numerous phone calls and congratulatory letters from a who's who of world leaders, his aides say. The presidents of France, Mexico, and Afghanistan, followed by the prime ministers of the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Israel, and Australia all have contacted Obama since his victory.

The U.N. chief told reporters that had requested a telephone call with Obama.

Could Ban and Obama be playing phone tag? Nobody at the U.N. seems to know.

Ban also told reporters that he hoped to meet Obama when he travels to Washington next week for the Bush economic summit.

Obama aides said the president-elect has no plans to attend the summit.

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