27th Jan 2020

Prodi says Iraq war increased terror threat

Romano Prodi has said that the war in Iraq increased the threat of terror and that he hopes the attacks on Madrid will lead EU states to forge a common foreign policy and common home policy to combat terrorism.

In an interview with Maltamedia, the commission president said: "A year has passed since Iraq was attacked. Seeing what happened in Turkey, Russia and now in Spain, shows me that this war did not decrease the threat of terror, but it has increased it".

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Although the US-led war in Iraq exposed deep divisions among EU governments, Mr Prodi hopes that recent events in Madrid will make states look again at how they work together.

Culture of secrecy

Speaking about the aftermath of Madrid, Mr Prodi told today’s Irish Independent in an interview, "We must react because we are all in danger," he said. "Ireland - like Italy, France, Germany, Spain - we cannot exclude the threat from any of us. This is a tragedy".

He singled out the importance of getting swift agreement on introducing a new solidarity pact as essential to improving Europe's responsiveness to international terrorism.

"This is not a priority but a precondition, this will nurture the spirit of co-operation. With the Solidarity Pact you create a climate in which you can work," he said.

EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting this Friday to discuss measures to combat the terrorist threat.

The Commission has blamed EU states for not implementing agreed measures and has urged them to overcome a "culture of secrecy" and pool more intelligence at EU level.

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