Vice-president on European tour

Burundi's vice-president, Domitien Ndayizeye, has embarked on a five-nation tour during which he will talk about the country's peace process and the resumption of cooperation between Burundi and its partners in the region, local Burundi news organisations reported on Monday.

Net Press news agency reported that the vice-president and his 12-member delegation left Burundi on 31 March and hoped to return on 18 April. They are scheduled to visit Austria, Italy, The Vatican, the UK, Sweden and Belgium, news organisations said.

According to ABP news agency, in addition to Ndayizeye's meetings with senior government and political leaders in charge of cooperation, other members of his delegation will make other contacts.

These will aim to strengthen ties and discuss future relations with cooperation agencies and developmental organisations such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund.

Ndayizeye hoped to meet United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose visit to Italy would coincide with his own, ABP said. The vice-president would address a number of press conferences and also meet the Burundi diaspora living in the countries he would be visiting to brief them on the sociopolitical and economic situations in Burundi, it added.