Allawi disappointed to miss Chirac at summit

5th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (AFP) - Iraq's interim leader expressed regret Friday that he was unable to talk with French President Jacques Chirac, who left an EU summit early, but voiced hopes of "very positive" relations with Paris.

BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (AFP) - Iraq's interim leader expressed regret Friday that he was unable to talk with French President Jacques Chirac, who left an EU summit early, but voiced hopes of "very positive" relations with Paris.

"Unfortunately, no," Iyad Allawi told reporters when asked whether he was able to talk to Chirac during a visit to Brussels to meet NATO and European Union leaders, on the second-day of an EU summit.

"The Iraqi foreign minister is meeting the French foreign minister today... we look forward to a very positive relation with France and with nations in the future," he said, shortly before heading for lunch with the EU leaders.

"The past is the past," he said earlier, after addressing NATO ambassadors and leaders at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's headquarters on the outskirts of Brussels.

Before leaving, the French president said that he had "never refused" to meet Allawi, who has angered France with a series of verbal attacks on the country that most vocally opposed the US-led war in Iraq.

Chirac said he was leaving early for the United Arab Emirates to pay his condolences after the death Tuesday of founding UAE leader Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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