Saturday

25th May 2019

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.

Tensions mount over Kosovo-Serbia deal

Serbia will never recognise Kosovo, Serbia's foreign minister has said, as the Western Balkans heads into a new period of turbulence.

News in Brief

  1. UK's May announces June 7 resignation date
  2. Ireland votes for EU election and divorce referendum
  3. Report: May to announce resignation plan on Friday
  4. Leading politicians: time for EU to have female leaders
  5. Poll: Finland's Green party to surge in EU elections
  6. High demand for postal voting in Denmark
  7. Some EU citizens turned away at UK polling stations
  8. Switzerland unlikely to sign draft EU deal

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. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Irish greens take Dublin in second EU exit poll
  2. EU election results to trigger top jobs scramble This WEEK
  3. Don't tell the Dutch - but Timmermans 'won'
  4. EU says goodbye to May with 'respect'
  5. Strache scandal: how big a hit will Austrian far-right take?
  6. Italy train row exposes competing views of EU
  7. Dutch socialists on top in first EP election exit poll
  8. No usage data kept for EU parliament's 'Citizens' App'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us