Steinmeier rules out military option in Iran row

19th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

19 January 2006, CAIRO - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday ruled out a military option in the ongoing dispute between the EU and Iran over Tehran's resumption of its controversial nuclear research programme.

19 January 2006

CAIRO - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday ruled out a military option in the ongoing dispute between the EU and Iran over Tehran's resumption of its controversial nuclear research programme.

Speaking after a meeting in Cairo with his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abul Gheit and President Hosny Mubarak, Steinmeier said the EU was interested in a diplomatic solution to the row and that none of the countries taking part in the talks with Iran "had a military option in mind."

The Egyptian leadership did not say whether Cairo would support moves by the EU Trio of Germany, France and Britain and the United States to refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council.

Steinmeier also met with Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa to discuss Iran's nuclear programme. There was a common concern that the nuclearization of Iran would increase the risks to the Middle East, Steinmeier said.

Mussa stressed that it was important to keep the whole of the Middle East free of nuclear weapons, including Israel which has a complete "nuclear arsenal" outside of international control, which Mussa said was a great danger to the region.

The German foreign minister also thanked the Arab League for its help in securing the release of Susanne Osthoff, a German national taken hostage in Iraq.

The two sides discussed the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Territories and the ongoing Middle East peace process.

Steinmeier arrived in Egypt on Wednesday for a two-day visit which was to include a speech to the Cairo Book Fair which has Germany as its guest of honour this year.

DPA

Subject: German news

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