Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim says approached to run for UN top job

KUALA LUMPUR, June 28, 2006 (AFP) – Malaysian former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim said Wednesday he was being approached to throw his hat in the ring for the post of UN secretary general, but he had yet to decide on running.

Anwar said foreign ministers and leaders had asked him in the past three months whether he would vy for the hotly-contested post, which is expected to go to an Asian diplomat.

"Yes, there have been approaches and a series of discussions by many quarters, but I have not given any clear indication," he said in a telephone interview with AFP.

The veteran politician said talks with leaders had been private and informal, with people sounding out his ideas about the post.

"People do ask. Even here and overseas, people do ask. Even governments, foreign ministers, heads of government have raised this, but my answer remains consistent. Firstly, it’s premature, and number two, I’ve not given any serious thought to that," he said.

"Most of these questions are exploring, trying to explore the possibility," he added, declining to reveal which leaders had raised the idea with him.