Monday

17th Dec 2018

Vilnius 10 sign letter on Iraq

The Vilnius 10 group, composed of Slovakia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia and Macedonia on Wednesday signed a letter in support of American military intervention in Iraq.

The Vilnius 10 said that US Secretary of State Colin Powell had proved to the UN Security Council that Iraq had clearly violated UN resolutions. The signatories are also willing to participate in the international coalition for the disarmament of Iraq.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The letter was drafted on Wednesday before and after the speech of US Secretary of State Colin Powell, in which he submitted evidence that Iraq does not respect UN resolutions.

In the draft letter seen by EUobserver, the Foreign Ministers of the ten countries state that they "understand the dangers posed by tyranny and the special responsibility of democracies to defend our shared values".

They support the declaration made at the Prague NATO Summit in November, which asked for full disarmament of Iraq as stipulated by the UN Security Council resolution 1441. They also make reference to the "international efforts to achieve a peaceful disarmament of Iraq".

The ten foreign ministers conclude by saying that "the clear and present danger posed by Saddam Hussein’s regime requires a united response from the community of democracies". They call upon the United Nations to take the appropriate action.

The Vilnius Group initiative follows a similar article of support for the US position that was published last week. The letter was signed by the leaders of five EU member states - Britain, Denmark, Italy, Portugal and Spain - and three candidate countries - the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

Bulgaria provides crucial balance

In view of the continuing disunity in European opinion on Iraq, Bulgaria, a permanent representative of the UN Security Council, may provide a balance. The country sits at the UN council together with France, Germany, United Kingdom and Italy. Bulgaria is a candidate for EU membership and has just received the invitation to join NATO. Its vote can still change the course of events, though the country is now placed in a difficult situation between NATO and the EU.

Following Colin Powell’s presentation, the foreign minister Solomon Passy said that the presentation "was strong and compelling. Iraq must immediately co-operate fully and effectively. So far, Iraq has been in breach of the necessary UN resolution."

Croatian president on Brussels visit

Stepjan Mesic, the Croatian President visited Brussels Monday and met Commission President, Romano Prodi, to discuss his country's future application for EU membership. Mr Prodi linked the status of membership with the need to reform the Croatian state and improve human rights and refugees problems.

Opinion

EU should brace for a more authoritarian Erdogan

The new blend of religious nationalism will be more anti-West and anti-EU, as Brussels has anything but leverage on Turkey. The first signs of this strong rhetoric are already visible.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. EU capitals see weekend of tear gas and water cannon
  2. Bulgarian 'EU passports' whistleblower wants justice
  3. No more Brexit talks, despite May's pleas
  4. EU leaders stuck on asylum reform
  5. Orban and other PMs spread fake news, says Juncker
  6. Fishing quota and no-deal Brexit preparation This WEEK
  7. Kosovo has right to own army, Germany and US say
  8. EU needs election-meddling stress tests

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us