George Bush calls Angela Merkel to discuss Iran

10th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 March 2006, WASHINGTON - US President George W. Bush called German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday to discuss the two countries' "shared commitment to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons," the White House said Thursday.

10 March 2006

WASHINGTON - US President George W. Bush called German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday to discuss the two countries' "shared commitment to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons," the White House said Thursday.

Bush and Merkel also discuss the need for Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that prevailed in January 25 elections, to renounce violence and recognized Israel's right to exist, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

The dispute over Iran's nuclear weapons programme is set to go the UN Security Council next week after the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), wrapped up meetings on the matter in Vienna on Wednesday.

The United States and Germany, along with Britain and France, lobbied the IAEA's 35-nation governing board to report Iran's alleged lack of cooperation in disclosing its nuclear activities to the Security Council.

Washington believes Iran's nuclear energy programme is also being used to develop weapons, a charge Iran denies.

The IAEA board approved a resolution on February 4 criticizing Iran and reporting the Islamic state to the Security Council. The five veto-holding council members - Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States - agreed to hold off on any steps until the meetings in Vienna this week concluded.

Bush and Merkel also discussed the need for the international community to get more involved in halting the violence in Sudan's Darfur region, where tens of thousands have died in the ethnic conflict, McClellan said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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