Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti has spent the past week touring Arab capital gleaning information on latest developments in the Middle East peace negotiations.
Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti has spent the past week touring Arab capital gleaning information on latest developments in the Middle East peace negotiations. On Saturday (18 November), he arrived in Iraq to discuss -- among other things -- Arab opposition to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's peace initiative. Later, while returning home, discussed these issues in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis.
SYNOPSIS: At baghdad airport in Iraq, the Vice-Chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council, Mr Saddam Hussein, was on hand to greet the Italian leader. Signor Andreotti's visit to iraq was the final stage of a busy Middle East tour, which also took him to Libya, Egypt and Jordan. Before leaving Italy last week, Signor Andreot??? outlined the dual purposes of his tour. These were to improve trade relations between Italy and Arab nations, and to receive first-hand reports on current attitudes to Egyptian-israeli peace negotiations.
During his visit to Egypt, the Italian Prime Minister had stressed his government's one hundred percent support of President Sadat's peace moves. But he underlined that, while he would not try to mediate between Arab nations, he wanted to do as much as possible to resolve Arab solidarity.
In Iraq, after the official welcoming ceremony, Signor Andreotti met leading Iraqi government officials before attending talks with President Hassan Al-Bakr at Baghdad palace. These centred on Iraq's hardline attitude towards President Sadat's peace over-tures, as well as resolutions passed at the Baghdad Arab Foreign Ministers summit earlier this month.
Signor Andreotti only spent twenty-four hours in Iraq before flying home to Rome via Greece. On his stop-over in Athens, he met Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis, who greeted him at the airport. The two men later spent three hours discussing a variety of issues, including Greece's application to join the European Economic Community (EEC), and topics arising from Signor Andreotti's talks in four countries on his Middle East Tour.