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UN Chief's Visit To Southern Caucasus Delayed

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's tour of the southern Caucasus was postponed because of his involvement in negotiations to end the wars in Yemen and Syria, UN officials said.

Ban had planned to visit Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan from April 23-27, but he will have to reschedule the trip because of "mandatory" matters he must attend to in the UN-sponsored peace talks, a UN official told Interfax on April 21.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said Ban's planned visit to Tbilisi on April 23 was postponed and a new date would be set later.

The UN chief's visit to the region was originally scheduled after a flare-up in fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mainly ethnic Armenian region inside Azerbaijan.

A cease-fire halted four days of fierce fighting between Karabakh separatists and Azerbaijani forces on April 5, but sporadic shooting still occurs.

Based on reporting by Interfax