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A dozen heads of state to attend UN climate talks

Twelve heads of government and state have said they will participate in UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said on Friday.

About 130 ministers will also descend on the coastal city for negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), she said at a press conference.

African leaders from the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Republic of Congo and Senegal are set to attend the 12-day talks which wrap up on December 9, Figueres said.

Nauru, Honduras, Samoa, Monaco, Fiji, Niue and Norway will also be represented by their heads of state.

Ministers are set to arrive on Monday and Tuesday in time to attend the high-level session starting on Tuesday afternoon. All but three countries in the 194-nation body have sent representatives.

A preliminary draft of what could be a “Durban Accord” will circulate over the weekend so negotiators can continue the hunt for an elusive middle ground in the troubled talks.

The key issues on the table are the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the only international treaty limiting greenhouse gases, and whether nations should lay down an objective of crafting a comprehensive climate deal before the end of the decade.

Activating a “green climate fund” that would, by 2020, disburse 100 billion dollars a year to poorer countries is also under discussion.