Fischer blasts kidnapping ofFrench journalists in Iraq

31st August 2004, Comments 0 comments

31 August 2004 , ALEXANDRIA - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer condemned the kidnapping of two French journalists in Iraq and said Germany would do its utmost to help secure the release of the hostages. Speaking in Alexandria, where he arrived earlier in the day during a tour of the Middle East, Fischer said he was shocked about the kidnapping of Georges Malbrunot, journalist with the French Figaro newspaper, and Christian Chesnot of Radio France Internationale. He would meet with his French counter

31 August 2004

ALEXANDRIA - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer condemned the kidnapping of two French journalists in Iraq and said Germany would do its utmost to help secure the release of the hostages.

Speaking in Alexandria, where he arrived earlier in the day during a tour of the Middle East, Fischer said he was shocked about the kidnapping of Georges Malbrunot, journalist with the French Figaro newspaper, and Christian Chesnot of Radio France Internationale.

He would meet with his French counterpart Michel Barnier later in the day to express Germany's "total solidarity" in the matter, he said.

Earlier, Fischer held talks with Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak on ways to restart the stalled peace process between Israel and the Palestinians as well as latest developments in Iraq and Sudan.

During the meeting in Mubarak's summer palace, Fischer stressed that Egypt was playing a vital role in attempts to reach a peaceful solution in the Middle East conflict, a ministry spokesman said.

Mubarak announced he would visit Germany for the opening of an Egyptian exhibition in Bonn on 2 November of this year.

Fischer flew in to Alexandria from Israel and had previously visited Lebanon, Jordan and Syria as part of his five-day tour of the Middle East.

In Jerusalem on Monday, Fischer had called for Israel to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and large areas of the West Bank. He said there was no alternative to a two-state solution with an independent Palestine.

Speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Israeli Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, Fischer had greeted Israel's controversial announcement earlier this year to withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

But he added: "It is important that the initiative does not stop with Gaza." He said the withdrawal could lead to a breakthrough in the peace process.

In his meeting with Sharon, Fischer also discussed international concerns about Iran's nuclear programme, and urged Teheran to keep its commitments.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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