Thursday, December 08, 2005

Ahmadinejad comments unacceptable: Merkel

IRANIAN President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's expressions of doubt that the Holocaust took place and his suggestion Israel be moved to Europe, are completely unacceptable, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today."The comments by the Iranian president are totally unacceptable," Ms Merkel said at a joint news conference with French President Jacques Chirac near Berlin.

"As German chancellor and with our historical responsibility in mind, I can only say that we reject them in the harshest possible terms," she said.

"We will do everything to make it clear that Israel's right to existence is in no way endangered. I am firmly convinced that a majority in the international community has a similar opinion on this issue," Ms Merkel said.

Six million Jews are estimated to have died at the hands of Germany's 1933-1945 Nazi regime and post World War II German governments have made it a matter of policy to strongly support Israel.

Mr Chirac said he completely agreed with Ms Merkel and that France was outraged by the Iranian leader's statement.

His comments follow a call in October for Israel to be "wiped off the map", which sparked widespread international condemnation.


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