'I'm very excited': What UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon told Sushma Swaraj about Yoga Day | world | Hindustan Times
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'I'm very excited': What UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon told Sushma Swaraj about Yoga Day

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has expressed his excitement at the first International Day of Yoga during his meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, saying the day has garnered "unprecedented" enthusiasm from people around the world.

world Updated: Jun 21, 2015 09:52 IST

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has expressed his excitement at the first International Day of Yoga during his meeting with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, saying the day has garnered "unprecedented" enthusiasm from people around the world.

Ban called on Swaraj on Saturday evening at the Manhattan hotel where the Indian leader is staying. He warmly greeted her with a "Namaste, kya haal chaal hain" as he shook her hands.

Ban, accompanied by senior UN officials, congratulated Swaraj on the commemoration of the first International Day of Yoga.

"I am also very much excited," he said.

The UN chief told her that the world body had been observing many international days on various themes but the excitement and enthusiasm for the Yoga Day is unprecedented.

"(There is) a lot of enthusiasm. We have been observing many international days on something but this one (Yoga Day) is unprecedented, most exciting," he said.

Ban said he had been told that nearly two billion people would have participated in the yoga day across the world by the end of June 21.

Swaraj informed Ban that 192 countries, with the only exception of Yemen, will be commemorating Yoga Day.

Ban also thanked Swaraj for the"excellent arrangement" and hospitality during his visit to India in January this year.

He said he had the opportunity to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi again in Seoul in May.

Swaraj exchanged pleasantries with the UN chief. Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also met Ban when the UN chief arrived to meet Swaraj.

Accompanying Swaraj were India's ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji, deputy permanent representative Bhagwant Bishnoi and other senior Indian officials.

Ban and Swaraj then held closed door discussions.

Swaraj arrived on Saturday to preside over the yoga day celebrations at the UN and across the city. She is expected to meet UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa on Sunday before returning to India.

Full Coverage:International Yoga Day