Brussels, 11 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld again spoke of the "old" and "new" Europe when praising the contributions of Poland and Romania to the postwar reconstruction effort in Iraq. Rumsfeld was speaking at a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of a Pentagon-operated security studies center in the southern German city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Rumsfeld said of Poland and Romania's role in Iraq that "it suggests that the distinction between old and new Europe" is a "matter of attitude of the vision that countries bring to the trans-Atlantic relationship."
Rumsfeld made similar comments prior to the Iraq war. They caused a further rift between nations that supported the military campaign in Iraq -- including new NATO members -- and those that opposed the campaign -- including established NATO members.
Rumsfeld flew from Germany to Brussels where he is scheduled to attend a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers that starts tomorrow.