ROME (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday welcomed the likely nomination of Antonio Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister, as his successor.


"I know Guterres very well and consider it a super choice," Ban told reporters in Rome after a meeting with the Italian president.


"His experience as Portuguese prime minister, his wide knowledge of world affairs, and his lively intellect will serve him well in leading the United Nations in a crucial period," Ban said.


The U.N. Security Council is expected to formally nominate Guterres later on Thursday.


(Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, writing by Steve Scherer)