Merkel: Diplomacy only way in Iran

10th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 May 2006, BERLIN - Germany and Egypt fully support international efforts for a diplomatic solution to the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.

10 May 2006

BERLIN - Germany and Egypt fully support international efforts for a diplomatic solution to the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.

"Every effort must be undertaken" to resolve the matter through diplomacy, the chancellor said after talks with Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak in Berlin.

Germany is one of the powers at the United Nations that are looking for ways to ensure that Iran's nuclear activities do not lead to it acquiring an atomic weapon.

Last week the Security Council's five veto-wielding states and Germany failed in their efforts to get the world body to agree to a resolution on Iran.

They plan another attempt next week with a text that would outline a path that could lead Iran to a civil nuclear programme acceptable to the international community, sources said.

Mubarak and Merkel, who met for the second time in two months, also agreed that the Hamas-led government in the Palestinian Territories should recognize Israel's right to exist.

The radical Muslim movement's refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence after its election victory in January led to a cut- off in aid, creating a financial crisis.

On Tuesday, the international quartet group of mediators agreed to set up a mechanism which would funnel aid to the cash-starved Palestinian Authority, bypassing Hamas.

Merkel said humanitarian conditions for Palestinians needed to be improved.

The chancellor also referred to the bombings that killed 18 people in two Sinai resorts last month, saying they showed the challenge that terrorism posed to the international community.

Merkel praised the close relations between Germany and Egypt and said both sides wanted to develop further their economic ties.

Mubarak is paying a two-day visit to Berlin during which he is scheduled to open an exhibition of Egyptian archaeological treasures along with German President Horst Koehler on Thursday.

The display, called Egypt's Sunken Treasures, includes priceless relics excavated from ships that have been resting on the bottom of the sea for hundreds of years.

DPA

Subject: German news

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