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U.S. Senators Criticize France, Germany Over Iraq

21 June 2004 -- A group of U.S. senators criticized France and Germany on 20 June, saying it is time for the two NATO allies to act responsibly in dealing with Iraq.

Democratic Senator Joseph Biden, just back from a visit to Baghdad, said NATO needs to play a role in providing security in Iraq after Washington hands back power to Iraqis on 30 June. He said he believes Iraq can still be "salvaged" despite ongoing violence.

But Biden chided France and Germany for not backing a NATO role in Iraq, saying it's time they "act more responsibly now, notwithstanding their frustration" with U.S. President George W. Bush.

Biden was joined in his criticism by Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, who traveled with him to Iraq, and Republican Senator Bill Frist, who complained that France and Germany have not helped to resolve Iraq's huge foreign debt.

All three senators made their remarks on U.S. television.