Italian FM in Iraq for bilateral ties, talks about Aziz, Christians

10:20, December 06, 2010      

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Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini arrived in Baghdad on Sunday to hold talks with Iraqi leaders aiming at promoting bilateral ties and to discuss situation of Christian minority in Iraq.

Frattini was received at Baghdad airport by his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari and held a meeting with the Prime Minister-designate Nuri al-Maliki and is due to meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

In a news conference, Zebari told reporters that Frattini talked with Maliki about his country's willingness to participate in Iraq's rebuilding, along with discussing the situations of Iraqi Christians after a series of deadly attacks against the minority in Baghdad and northern Iraq.

Zebari stressed the stance of the Iraqi government that Iraqi Christians are part of the Iraqi people and their protection is essential for the Iraqi government.

Zebari also revealed that the visiting Italian minister has also called for clemency against the death penalty for Saddam Hussien's Christian top aide Tareq Aziz.

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