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September 22, 2004
The Berlin state government has banned an Arab-Islamic conference, called the First Arabic Islamic Conference in Europe. According to a spokesperson for the German Convention Bureau, the event -- which was expected to attract 500 to 800 participants -- was to to be held at a conference venue in the Charlottenburg district of the German capital on Oct. 1-3. The event's aim, according to Berlin officials, was to rally support for Iraqi and Palestinian resistance. Last week, the German Interior Minister said the event was a threat to security and public order. According to Reuters, the organizers said they would respect the ban but added they had never shown approval of suicide attacks, although the Berlin government said an advertisement for the event on the Internet expressed approval for the attacks.