Berlin welcomes Bush's Iraqstance; diplomats to stay

14th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 April 2004, BERLIN - The German government Wednesday welcomed comments by US President George W. Bush on Iraq and said it had no plans to withdraw diplomats from Baghdad despite the killing of two German police guards earlier this week. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's deputy spokesman, Thomas Steg, said Berlin strongly supported several aspects raised by Bush during a news conference on Tuesday. "The president made some important points," said Steg. Schroeder welcomes the US decision to hold firm to the

14 April 2004

BERLIN - The German government Wednesday welcomed comments by US President George W. Bush on Iraq and said it had no plans to withdraw diplomats from Baghdad despite the killing of two German police guards earlier this week.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's deputy spokesman, Thomas Steg, said Berlin strongly supported several aspects raised by Bush during a news conference on Tuesday.

"The president made some important points," said Steg.

Schroeder welcomes the US decision to hold firm to the 30 June deadline for handing over power to a transitional Iraqi government and a January 2005 deadline for Iraqi elections, said Steg.

"The German government views this as a correct and important signal," said Steg, adding: "The timetable is realistic."

Steg said Germany was also pleased with Bush's call for a bigger United Nations role in Iraq but he noted this was not the time to talk about new UN resolutions but rather to deal with problems "now on the table."

"We have a joint interest in the fight against international terrorism succeeding," Steg said.

He repeated Berlin's firm rejection of sending German troops to Iraq - a position held since 2002 - and declined to speculate if this would change under a new UN mandate.

German-American ties were badly chilled due to differences over the Iraq war but since late last year both Bush and Schroeder have made strong efforts to repair the damage.

In a related development, an interior ministry spokesman said there was still no final confirmation on the death of two German GSG9 border police officers serving in Iraq to protect German diplomats.

The officers were reportedly killed while travelling in a convoy from Jordan to the Iraqi capital earlier this week and photos of their bodies have been splashed in tabloid newspapers.

Efforts were continuing to recover the bodies, said foreign ministry spokeswoman Antje Leendertse.

Leendertse said Berlin was holding talks with European Union partners on the situation in Iraq but she noted: "There are no concrete plans to withdraw (diplomats)."

DPA
Subject: German news

 

 

 

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