FM in Egypt for Iraq talks

Foreign Minister George Papandreou flew to Egypt yesterday for talks on the prospect of a US attack on Iraq, following his meetings in New York on Wednesday with top United Nations and US officials. Papandreou’s visit to Egypt follows a tour of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon at the beginning of the week in his capacity of foreign minister of the country holding the rotating European Union presidency. Speaking to Greek journalists in New York early yesterday, Papandreou insisted that Athens «favors a peaceful solution to the crisis and is ready to contribute with any initiative [UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan] considers useful and important.» Meanwhile, Greek diplomatic sources in Brussels yesterday said the presidency would wait until February 14, when UN weapons inspectors are due to present a crucial report, until deciding whether to convoke a special EU meeting on Iraq – either of heads of state and government or of foreign ministers.