Barnier delays US visit for Pope's funeral

6th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 5 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier has postponed a planned visit to the United States to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II on Friday, the foreign ministry announced Tuesday.

PARIS, April 5 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier has postponed a planned visit to the United States to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II on Friday, the foreign ministry announced Tuesday.

But Barnier was expected to meet with his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice, who will be part of the US delegation headed by US President George W. Bush, at the services in Vatican City.

As Rice "will be unavailable since she will be accompanying the president to the funeral of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, the minister's visit, initially scheduled for Thursday and Friday, April 8 and 9, has been moved to a later date," said foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei.

No new date was announced.

Barnier had said on Saturday that the top priority of his visit would be the Israeli-Palestinian question and the need for concrete measures to nurture the fragile Middle East peace process.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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