Schroeder meets Gaddafi

15th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

15 October 2004, TRIPOLI - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder arrived late Thursday in Tripoli on a first-ever visit to Libya by a German leader.

15 October 2004

TRIPOLI - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder arrived late Thursday in Tripoli on a first-ever visit to Libya by a German leader.

Leader Moamer Gaddafi told Schroeder that Libya is seeking compensation payments for landmines buried during World War Two by Germany. Gaddafi pointed out that the mines, which were left in the desert during the retreat of the Africa Corps under General Erwin Rommel, still kill and injure people.

The chancellor is reported to have rejected the demands, saying that, to normalise relations between both countries, now is not the time to look into the past, according to government sources.

Schroeder invited Gaddafi during the three-hour meeting in a tent to visit Germany at "a suitable time", an offer the Libyan leader accepted. The talks at a night banquet, marking the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, touched on international topics with Gaddafi praising the role of Germany and France in the Iraq conflict.

As was reported, Gaddafi criticised the US for its course of action in Iraq and its role in the conflict between Palestinians and Israel.

The chancellor rejected the overall reproaches against Washington as well as suggestions that Europe and the Arab countries should form a counter force against the US.

Schroeder, who was accompanied by a 25-member business delegation, is scheduled to meet Gaddafi again on Friday, when the chancellor is also to travel to an oil field about 1,000 kilometres south of Tripoli with executives of Germany's biggest oil and gas producer, Wintershall, part of the BASF Group.

Schroeder is scheduled to fly on to Algeria on Friday afternoon.

DPA

Subject: German news

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