Germany Tells Jordan No Retreat on Demand for Iraqi Pullout With AM-Gulf-Baker, Bjt
BONN, Germany (AP) _ Germany’s foreign minister told Jordan’s King Hussein Tuesday there would be no backing down on international demands that Iraq surrender Kuwait within a week.
But the German official, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, also suggested that an Iraqi withdrawal could help pave the way for the resolution of other Middle East questions, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Secretary of State James A. Baker III was also in Bonn in advance of his meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz on Wednesday. Baker held talks with Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Genscher, who in turn met with Hussein.
Baker said of his talks in Geneva with Aziz: ″I think this is the last, best chance for a peaceful, political solution.″
Hussein refused to speak to reporters before or after his discussions with Genscher.
The Jordanian king has criticized the U.S.-led military buildup in the Persian Gulf and repeatedly called for an Arab solution to the crisis.
Genscher’s office said the foreign minister told Hussein that Iraq must leave Kuwait by Jan. 15. The United Nations has set the date for Iraq to withdraw or face possible force.
After Genscher and Hussein met, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said the United Nations resolutions on the gulf crisis ″are the basis for everything.″
″If those resolutions are fulfilled, the door is wide open for a peaceful solution for all the conflicts in the gulf and the other problems of the region,″ said the spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.
France, too, has called for talks on Mideast issues if Iraq agrees to withdraw from Kuwait.
The United States has rejected any specific linkage of an Iraqi withdrawal to any Israeli pullout from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Saudi ambassador to Germany said he is concerned that French and German diplomatic moves in the gulf crisis were causing confusion.
Ambassador Abbas Faig Ghazzawi said there was a ″lot of ambiguity″ developing in gulf diplomacy.
″The governments (of France and Germany) say they are not changing their policy, but we are afraid of change,″ he said.
King Hussein and his American-born wife, Queen Noor, were welcomed at Cologne airport by 20 Bonn-based ambassadors, including Iraq’s. A German military honor guard also greeted the couple.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking member with Kohl’s Christian Democrats said Iraq should be allowed to gradually leave Kuwait rather than withdrawing fully to meet the deadline, the Hanover newspaper Neue Presse reported.
Hans Stercken, chairman of the Foreign Committee in Parliament, said in an interview with the paper that ″humiliating″ Iraq would increase the risks of war.
Stercken said if Iraq agreed to leave Kuwait, the European Community should consider making available financial aid ″for the total gulf region,″ the report said.