Obama, Clinton discuss major issues, including ME, with UN chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed major global issues including conflicts in the Middle East in separate phone calls Friday with US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Obama and the secretary-general discussed working together to tackle such issues as the global economic crisis, climate change, food security and regional crises, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, UN spokeswoman Michele Montas said. "The secretary of state emphasized the importance of working together with the UN in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Iraq" and also discussed "greater cooperation in UN reform and budgetary issues, she said.