[ALBANIA, BULGARIA, CROATIA, ESTONIA, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, MACEDONIA (FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF), ROMANIA, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA AND UNITED STATES]10 East European Nations Back U.S. on Iraq
from The Associated Press on Thursday, February 06, 2003
Ten Eastern European countries said Secretary of State Colin Powell presented “compelling evidence” of Iraq’s weapons programs on Wednesday, and offered to support any U.S. bid to disarm Saddam Hussein.
Powell presented tape recordings, satellite photos and informants’ statements that he said constituted “irrefutable and undeniable” evidence that Saddam is concealing weapons of mass destruction and has links to international terrorists.
In a statement, the 10 foreign ministers noted they had lived under communism and understood tyranny. They said democracies must unite to face “the clear and present danger posed by Saddam Hussein’s regime.”
The ministers – from Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – said they were “prepared to contribute to an international coalition to enforce its provisions and the disarmament of Iraq.”
Eastern European governments have tended to be more supportive of Washington than their Western counterparts.
The signers of the statement were part of the Vilnius 10, a group created in 2000 in the Lithuanian capital to help its members seek NATO membership.
Seven of the 10 have been invited to join the alliance – Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.