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German Chancellor Supports Lifting Iraq Sanctions - 2003-05-16


U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was in Germany Friday – the final leg of a week-long diplomatic mission that took him to Moscow and the middle east. VOA-Tv’s Jim Bertel reports German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder threw his support behind the lifting of sanctions against Iraq.

Signaling a thaw in relations between Berlin and Washington, Chancellor Schroeder said sanctions no longer make any sense in light of the ouster of the government of Saddam Hussein.

CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER
"We are of the opinion that the sanctions (against Iraq), which were put in place some time ago, don't make sense anymore and they should be lifted as soon as possible. We both believe that it makes sense that you have to work together at the United Nations in New York to find a common solution.

Secretary Powell was in Germany trying to mend frayed relations. He described his talks with Mr. Schroeder and German foreign minister Joschka Fischer as ‘direct and candid.’

U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL
“We talked about the disagreement of the past and the seriousness of that disagreement, but we also talked about that which pulls us together - friends and allies for many years, the way in which we work with each other and cooperating in the Balkans, in Afghanistan.”

The talks also covered the global war on terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL
“We also spoke about the prospects for peace in the Middle East, and President Bush's commitment to moving forward with a new Palestinian prime minister and with Prime Minister Sharon to find a way forward down the road map that will lead to a vision the president laid out in his speech on 24 June of last year.”

Mr. Powell is the highest ranking U.S. official to visit Germany since Berlin angered Washington by opposing the U.S. led war in Iraq.

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