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UN official visits South Asia in bid to drum up more peacekeeping troops

8 January The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations is visiting Pakistan and Bangladesh to thank both Governments for their support of UN missions and to seek further assistance.

Jean-Marie Guéhenno's trip comes as demand for soldiers to serve in the world body's operations outstrips supply. "He's trying to drum up troop contributions for anticipated peacekeeping missions this year," explained UN spokesman Fred Eckhard in New York.

Mr. Guéhenno flew to Bangladesh today after spending a few days in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, where he met with President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mahmoud Kasuri.

The two South Asian countries are the UN's top contributors to peacekeeping. Pakistan had 5,343 military observers, civilian police and troops on UN duty and Bangladesh 4,274 as of the end of last November.

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