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Berlin confirms ‘no’ on Iraq aid workers

17 March 2004

BERLIN – Germany’s development minister said Wednesday the killing in Iraq of two engineers – one German and one Dutch – confirmed the government policy of refusing to send state aid workers to Baghdad.

“This horrible crime shows our position was right: the German Development Aid Ministry is deliberately not sending employees of state agencies to Iraq,” said Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul in a Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper interview.

Wieczorek-Zeul said the high level of insecurity in Iraq made it irresponsible to send staff to help with Iraqi rebuilding.

The two engineers were killed Tuesday along with two Iraqis near Karbala when their vehicle was attacked by gunmen. Both were employed by a German water pump company.

Berlin strongly opposed the Iraq war and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has refused to send troops to the country.

Germany is training Iraqi police recruits but Schroeder insisted this take place outside the country. Training camps have thus been set up in the United Arab Emirates.

Schroeder sent troops for the Afghan war and Germany currently has about 2,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan.


Subject: German News