Expatica news

Iraqi president in Belgium

14 September 2004

BRUSSELS – Iraq’s beleaguered new president Ghazi al-Yawar arrived in Brussels on Tuesday for talks with senior European Union and Nato officials.

Al-Yawar was set to meet with Nato secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Javier Solana, the EU’s high representative for foreign policy.

Nato already has a small training mission in Iraq and it is currently considering whether to beef up its operations there.

The United States is keen for Nato to play a greater role in Iraq although other European members of the alliance, notably France, are more wary about the idea.

It was not expected that NATO would announce any major change in its activities in Iraq on Monday.

Analysts say they expect Al-Yawar’s meeting with Solana and some EU foreign ministers to touch on European aid to the reconstruction of Iraq and also on the conflict-ridden country’s forthcoming elections.

The Iraqi President was originally set to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg Wednesday, but on Monday he announced he had cancelled the trip.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news