Accessibility links

Breaking News

EU: Leaders At Emergency Summit Divided On Iraq

Brussels, 17 February 2003 (RFE/RL) -- European Union leaders are holding an emergency summit on the Iraqi crisis today in Brussels. Correspondents say the EU is divided between those favoring further diplomacy and those backing the more aggressive stance of the United States.

The meeting comes after last Friday's relatively positive report by UN inspectors on Baghdad's cooperation as well as large rallies across Europe over the weekend against a military attack on Iraq.

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said he hoped the public opposition expressed at the rallies would help the EU find a common position.

The Arab world also wrestled with divided loyalties. At talks in Cairo late yesterday, Arab foreign ministers issued a final communique which said their countries should deny any support for military action against Iraq. But the communique fell short of a binding resolution.

In other developments, the U.S. national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, has warned the United Nations against allowing Iraq more time to disarm.

Speaking on American television yesterday, Rice said Washington was prepared to work to get a second UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force, but that diplomatic efforts could last "weeks, not months."