French envoy to stay in Iraq despite murder

8th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 8 (AFP) - France said Friday it had no intention of recalling its ambassador from Iraq following the murder of Egypt's top envoy to Baghdad by his alleged Al-Qaeda kidnappers.

PARIS, July 8 (AFP) - France said Friday it had no intention of recalling its ambassador from Iraq following the murder of Egypt's top envoy to Baghdad by his alleged Al-Qaeda kidnappers.

"To my knowledge, we are absolutely not considering the idea of our ambassador leaving Baghdad," foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei told a press conference.

"Our ambassador is in Baghdad and will stay there," the spokesman added.

He described the slaying of Egypt's top envoy to Iraq, 51-year-old Ihab al-Sharif, as an "inexcusable act", and said Paris was prepared to help Cairo with its inquiry into the assassination, should it need such assistance.

"It's obvious that if such a request for cooperation were sent to us by Egypt, given the excellent relations that exist between Egypt and France, I think the request would be received favourably," Mattei told reporters.

Sharif was abducted in the Iraqi capital at the weekend in the first kidnapping and killing of a head of mission since a spate of foreign hostage-takings began in Iraq more than 13 months ago.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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