- Title: IRAQ: German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle meets Iraqi leaders in Baghdad
- Date: 5th December 2010
- Summary: BAGHDAD, IRAQ (DECEMBER 4, 2010) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF IRAQI PRESIDENT JALAL TALABANI AND GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER GUIDO WESTERWELLE SEATED FOR MEETING
- Embargoed: 20th December 2010 12:00
- Location: Iraq, Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA6G2LNEWX503J58PTE9P705VTH
- Story Text: Germany supports the stabilisation of Iraq, foreign minister Guido Westerwelle says on an unannounced visit.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle met Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Baghdad on Saturday (December 4) during a confidence building trip to Iraq.
Westerwelle was accompanied by members of Germany's Bundestag and representatives of German businesses on his visit to Iraq.
He said Germany wanted to contribute to political stabilisation in Iraq and develop closer business ties.
"We have three messages for Iraq. The first message is we count on political stabilisation and we want to participate in the political stabilisation and make our contribution. We count on good economic relations, German businesses are ready to become much more active in Iraq. And thirdly, of course we are concerned with matters of tolerance and religious diversity, understandably particularly the protection of Christians in Iraq."
Westerwelle is also due to meet with Christian leaders, the German foreign ministry said. Iraq's Christians, who once numbered 1.5 million out of a total Iraqi population of about 30 million, have frequently been targeted by militants with churches bombed and priests assassinated. Many have fled.
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