Fischer calls for Gulf support in Iraq

21st June 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 June 2004 , ABU DHABI - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on Monday in Abu Dhabi called on Iraq's neighbours to play a greater role in bringing peace to region. On the first day of his tour of the Gulf region, Fischer said reform-orientated polities such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can help achieve Iraqi stability and prevent encroaching violence. "No one can have an interest in an Iraqi civil war," he said, adding that the most important factors for stability in Iraq were the transfer of po

21 June 2004

ABU DHABI - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on Monday in Abu Dhabi called on Iraq's neighbours to play a greater role in bringing peace to region.

On the first day of his tour of the Gulf region, Fischer said reform-orientated polities such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can help achieve Iraqi stability and prevent encroaching violence.

"No one can have an interest in an Iraqi civil war," he said, adding that the most important factors for stability in Iraq were the transfer of power from the US-led occupation and elections.

Fischer named German-Emirates cooperation in the training of Iraqi police a positive example of common efforts at stability between the European and Arab countries.

Fischer also expressed deep concern over developments in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, following the beheading of a US civilian by al-Qaeda terrorists.

"We must have very close cooperation in the fight against terrorism," he said, adding that the security of nearby Europe was dependent on the security of the Arab world.

Abu Dhabi's Foreign Ministry Secretary, Abdullah Rashid, in return voiced the UAE support for a permanent seat for Germany on the United Nations Security Council, saying Germany should again take up its "natural role" in international relations.

The political leadership of Abu Dhabi was however more circumspect in regard to Fischer's support for the Western initiative to modernize the Middle East.

"Democracy and human rights cannot be forced from without, but come from within," Rashid.

Fischer said the initiative for the Middle and Near East should be a true partnership, for which Europeans were well-positioned.

The German minister said he realised that there was mistrust that reforms "would be engrafted from outside", but pointed to the political and economic flowering in the Gulf states as an example that there was a positive way for globalization in the Arab world.

In his visit to Abu Dhabi, Fischer also met among others with Sheikh Hamdan, Abu Dhabi's vice premier in charge of foreign policy. The German foreign minister will conclude his trip to the region with a visit to Dubai (another of seven Emirates in the UAE) and the Sultanate of Oman.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian news agency MENA reported Monday that Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher is due to meet with US Middle East envoy William Burns Tuesday in an attempt to revive the Middle East quartet's roadmap for peace.

Secret service chief Omar Suleiman was also scheduled to hold talks with leaders in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and delegates of the quartet comprising the United Nations, United States, European Union, and Russia and were due to meet in Taba, Sinai on Thursday.

Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak - currently in Munich, Germany, for a back operation - also planned to send a "high-ranking delegate" to Washington, the agency said.

The measures were part of a new Egyptian initiative to kickstart the peace process and tie Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon's plans for unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip into the context of the roadmap.

Israeli media reported Monday that Sharon wanted to rehouse the settlers from Gaza in the Negev desert and the Galilee area.

DPA

Subject: German news  

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