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Schroeder only to make Iran visit "when conditions are right"
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|Author||Topic: Schroeder only to make Iran visit "when conditions are right"|
posted February 09, 2001 09:46
BERLIN, Feb 8 (AFP) - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi on Thursday that he would only make a proposed visit to Iran when there are "the conditions for a successful
visit", a government statement said.
Schroeder met unexpectedly with the Iranian minister who brought him an invitation to visit Iran from President Mohammed Khatami.
"The chancellor accepted the invitation. At the same time, however, he pointed out that there have to be basic given conditions in order that such a visit can lead to the success that both sides wish for," the
posted February 09, 2001 16:02
Chancellor Schroeder To Visit Iran
By TONY CZUCZKA, Associated Press Writer
BERLIN (AP) - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Thursday accepted an invitation to visit Iran, government officials said, in a sign that both countries are trying to ease strained relations.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi met Schroeder and handed an invitation from Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, a government spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity.
Schroeder said he will go only when the ``the overall conditions are such that the visit will be the success that both sides desire,'' the spokesman said.
Schroeder has been expected to travel to Iran but the timing has been left uncertain by German displeasure over last month's harsh Iranian court verdicts against reform activists who attended a Berlin conference last year. Eight received prison sentences of up to 10 years and two were fined.
Tehran authorities say the conference dealing with the future of reforms in Iran harmed Iran's image.
Several hundred Iranian activists opposed to their country's Islamic leadership staged a noisy rally outside the Foreign Ministry, located next to the chancellery, to protest Kharrazi's visit, carrying signs urging Germany to break relations with ``the terrorist mullah regime.'' The protesters later marched through central Berlin under
The activists urged Germany to link friendlier ties with Iran to an improvement in its human rights record.
Khatami visited Germany last July, the first by an Iranian leader since the 1979 Islamic revolution. That visit was meant as a relaunch of German-Iranian relations after years of strain, part of the reformist cleric's efforts to reach out to Western European governments.
All times are PT (US)
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