'Gang of Eight' Iraq Letter Rubs Salt in EU Wounds
<b><font size="4">'Gang of Eight' Iraq Letter Rubs Salt in EU Wounds</b></font>
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A joint letter by eight European leaders backing the United States on the crisis with Iraq highlighted the European Union
(news - web sites)'s divisions on Thursday, rubbing salt into the wounds of its stumbling foreign policy.
EU president Greece, in charge of trying to coordinate European foreign policy, criticized the signatories for undermining a common approach to the Iraq problem.
The European Parliament deepened the disarray by declaring that Iraq's response to U.N. weapons inspectors did not justify military action and
warning against a unilateral U.S.-led war.
In an article published in a dozen newspapers, the leaders of EU members Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Denmark, plus future members Poland,
Hungary and the Czech Republic, called time on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and appealed for unity.
The move appeared aimed at isolating France and Germany, which had publicly argued against a rush to war, and building a pro-American caucus
within the 15-nation EU.
"This looks like Rumsfeld's Europe," one EU diplomat said, referring to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's dismissal of France and Germany
last week as "old Europe."
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