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Annan Winds Up Sri Lanka Visit

9 January 2005 -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today he wanted to return to Sri Lanka to see all parts of the country.

Annan was speaking at a press conference before heading for the Maldives.

The Secretary General has visited the tsunami-affected parts of Sri Lanka amid reports that the government blocked him from visiting the northern areas, held by Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sri Lankan government said the final program of the visit had been worked out together with UN officials.

The head of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, who toured the areas along with Annan, said the bank could contribute up to $1.5 billion in aid if needed.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fisher attended a church service in southern Thailand affected by the tsunami. Italian Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Margherita Boniver attended another service that followed.

More than 150,000 people have been killed across Asia as a result of the tsunami, which was triggered by an earthquake off Indonesia.