Schroeder urges Syrian pullout from Lebanon

3rd March 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 March 2005 , SANA'A - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called on Thursday for the immediate withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon to allow Lebanon to "practice its sovereignty". Speaking after talks in Yemen with President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Schroeder told reporters that, "we are in agreement that Lebanon should be given an opportunity to practise its sovereignty." "This will not be achieved except through commitments to what the UN Security Council resolutions stipulate; the immediate withdrawal

3 March 2005 

SANA'A - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called on Thursday for the immediate withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon to allow Lebanon to "practice its sovereignty".

Speaking after talks in Yemen with President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Schroeder told reporters that, "we are in agreement that Lebanon should be given an opportunity to practise its sovereignty."

"This will not be achieved except through commitments to what the UN Security Council resolutions stipulate; the immediate withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon," he said in Sana'a, the latest leg of his tour to boost trade and political ties with the Arab Gulf region.

Saleh said he hoped Syria and Lebanon would settle this issue without an interference from other parties.

Schroeder and Saleh stressed their agreements on Iraq. After both opposing the 2003 US-led war on Iraq, the two countries now agreed on the "task of realising the interest of all parties in Iraq," said Schroeder.

"We must support the cause of realising stability in Iraq in solidarity with the Iraqi people so that they can stand on their own feet," the German Chancellor said.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM) Thursday, he said Germany would continue to train Iraqi police forces, but stressed: "Germany did not take part in the war against Iraq for good reason. Nothing will change here: We will not send soldiers to Iraq."

Saleh said he hoped the recent Iraqi parliamentary elections would be "the beginning of a healing and stability in Iraq and guarantee the integrity of Iraq's territories."

In comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Saleh called for international support to establish a Palestinian state on Palestinian territories with Jerusalem as its capital.

He said the security of Israel could be achieved after the military operations are ended by both sides, and after the end of the (Israeli) settlements and assassinations of Palestinian leadership.

Schroeder stressed the current opportunity for peace, adding: "We will endeavour to see that Israel lives within a peaceful border and without terror threats, and we look forward to the establishment of a Palestinian state with the sovereignty it deserves.

During Schroeder's two-day visit to Sana'a, the first ever made to Yemen by a German chancellor, the countries signed two agreements on preventing dual taxation and encouraging and protecting investments.

A consortium led by German engineering firm Siemens also inked a deal with the Yemeni government to build a gas-powered electricity station in northeastern Sanaa.

The EUR 12 million plant will be financed by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Saudi Fund for Development and the Yemeni government. It will have a capacity of 340 megawatts.

Germany is a major aid donor for Yemen, an impoverished country on the southwestern Arab Peninsula. Ties between the two countries were strained in 2003 over Germany's arrest and extradition to the US of two Yemenis, suspected of links to the al-Qaeda terror group.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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