German FM thanks Jordan for help in cartoon row

14th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

14 February 2006, AMMAN - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Tuesday in Amman thanked Jordan for its moderating influence in the row over the publication in European media of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

14 February 2006

AMMAN - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Tuesday in Amman thanked Jordan for its moderating influence in the row over the publication in European media of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

The Jordanian government had played a role that had had a "greatly de-escalating" effect on the situation, Steinmeier said after meeting with his Jordanian counterpart Abdul Ilah Khatib.

Earlier the German foreign minister had said during a visit to the Palestinian Territories that it was important for the West and Islamic countries to return to dialogue in the areas of religion and culture.

Steinmeier also planned a trip to Turkey late Tuesday evening for the same reason.

Speaking earlier about the situation in the Palestinian Territories, Steinmeier said the outgoing Palestinian government had shown understanding for the conditions imposed by the European Union on Hamas.

But it also urged the EU to judge the Palestinian Authority according to any future policy, and not just by the forces standing behind it, Steinmeier said after meeting his Palestinian counterpart Nasser al-Qidwah in Ramallah.

"In politics there is not only black and white, there are political options and you can move in the right direction," said al- Qidwah, referring to the radical Islamic movement which won the January 25 parliamentary elections and is to form the next government.

In his talks with Palestinian and Israeli leaders, Steinmeier reiterated the European stance on Hamas, saying that any future aid to or contacts with the new Palestinian government would be possible, if its members renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept previous agreements.

Steinmeier later met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but the two made no further comments to the media.

He held talks with Israeli Acting Premier Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Monday and was due to hold talks with King Abdullah II while in Jordan Tuesday.

DPA

Subject: German news

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