Merkel to raise human rights issues on Africa tour

2nd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 October 2007, Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will raise human rights issues and the situation in Zimbabwe during a five-day tour of Africa beginning Wednesday, government sources said Tuesday.

2 October 2007

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will raise human rights issues and the situation in Zimbabwe during a five-day tour of Africa beginning Wednesday, government sources said Tuesday.

The chancellor will also use her visit to Ethiopia, South Africa and Liberia to underscore Germany's interest in expanding cooperation with the African continent, they said.

The sources said that European countries had not lost ground because of increased Chinese economic activity in Africa, but needed to continue their well-established work their.

The chancellor, accompanied by a 21-member business delegation and her economic development minister, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, will first fly to Ethiopia.

She then travels to South Africa on October 4 before flying to Liberia for one day on the final leg of her tour.

In South Africa, Merkel is due to meet President Thabo Mbeki as well as his predecessor, Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela, and opposition leader Helen Zille.

She will also visit AIDS and biodiversity projects as well as discussing the countries preparations for holding the football World Cup in 2010.

In Ethiopia, she will meet Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, President Girma Woldegiorgis and leaders of the African Union, which has its headquarters in the capital, Addis Ababa.

She will also deliver a speech to the African Union, a pan-African organisation whose goal is to promote a united continent towards peace and prosperity.

On the final leg of her tour, the chancellor is due to meet Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Monrovia and discuss efforts to rebuild the country after years of civil war.

DPA

Subject: German news

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