Chancellor Helmut Kohl called Thursday for a peaceful resolution of the Persian Gulf crisis and said "the time is ripe" to solve the Arab-Israeli tensions and the Lebanon conflict as well.
So far, most Western leaders have resisted tying efforts to peacefully resolve the Persian Gulf crisis in with the search for a solution to the Palestinian conflict and Lebanon's crisis.In a speech to Parliament, the chancellor also repeated his support for the creation of a United States of Europe.
Kohl's government has been put on the spot by Iraq's announcement on Tuesday that it would free all German hostages, apparently in an attempt to drive a wedge into the Western alliance that is trying to force Saddam Hussein to relinquish Kuwait.
The chancellor said that at the Paris summit that ended on Wednesday he found a unanimous wish "to seek a peaceful solution" to the crisis Saddam precipitated with Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait.
"None of us wants war," the chancellor said, stressing the unified front against Iraq.
Kohl said the leaders in Paris also agreed that "the time is ripe" for the other conflicts in the Middle East to be solved by negotiations.
"There won't be any lasting peace and security in the Middle East and Near East until the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Lebanon conflict are settled by negotiations," Kohl told the lawmakers, drawing a round of applause.