Schroeder raises concernsabout escalation in Iraq

13th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 August 2004, SOFIA - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said he was worried about the latest escalation of violence in Iraq, saying during his visit to Bulgaria on Friday the problems in Iraq could affect regional stability. However German troops would not be part of an international solution in Iraq, the German leader said. Schroeder was reacting to the offensive launched Thursday against Shiite militias spearheaded by US forces in the city of Najaf. Iraqi forces were engaged in alongside the American Najaf

13 August 2004

SOFIA - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said he was worried about the latest escalation of violence in Iraq, saying during his visit to Bulgaria on Friday the problems in Iraq could affect regional stability.

However German troops would not be part of an international solution in Iraq, the German leader said.

Schroeder was reacting to the offensive launched Thursday against Shiite militias spearheaded by US forces in the city of Najaf. Iraqi forces were engaged in alongside the American Najaf and elsewhere in southern Iraq.

Although again ruling out a direct military engagement, Schroeder repeated German willingness to help train Iraqi policemen and soldiers. The training would take place in the United Arab Emirates.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Sakskoburggotski called for stronger engagement of the international community in Iraq, where Bulgaria has stationed 500 soldiers.

In interviews given to the Bulgarian press, Schroeder said accession talks with Turkey on joining the European Union should begin soon, and that he would back a vote slated for the EU parliament in December to start the talks.

The EU remained receptive to membership bids by Bulgaria and Romania, Schroeder said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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