Iraqi Foreign Minister in Vienna for talks with UN chief
Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri is in Austria for talks later this week with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to push for a lifting of the 12-year-old UN embargo in his country.
Sabri was welcomed upon his arrival Monday by Austria's controversial far-right leader Joerg Haider -- who visited Iraq earlier this year -- in the absence of any foreign ministry official, the APA news agency reported.
"He is not here on a bilateral visit but for a meeting with UN representatives and we are not involved in details of his visit," foreign ministry spokesman Martin Weiss said.
The discussions between Annan and Sabri, their third such meeting since March, is expected to be held on Thursday and Friday.
Sabri described Haider, whose Freedom Party is a member of the coalition government, as "one of Iraq's best friends," saying he hoped support in Austria would help Baghdad's efforts to end the sanctions.
Haider, who met President Saddam Hussein during a visit to Iraq in February, said Sabri will meet with high-level government representatives during his visit, but this was not confirmed by the foreign ministry. (Albawaba.com)
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