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Defence Of Shared Values Depends On European-US Unity: 8 Leaders

European leaders, including Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi and Vaclav Havel, have urged unity with the United States over Iraq.

The leaders’ call came in a letter published in European newspapers. “We in Europe have a relationship with the US that has stood the test of time,” the leaders say.

The letter says: “The combination of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism is a threat of incalculable consequences. It is one at which all of us should feel concerned.”

Text of a letter published in European newspapers from eight European leaders calling for a united stand the United States over Iraq.

The real bond between the US and Europe is the values we share: democracy, individual freedom, human rights and the rule of law. These values crossed the Atlantic with those who sailed from Europe to help create the United States of America. Today they are under greater threat than ever.

The attacks of September 11 showed just how far terrorists – the enemies of our common values – are prepared to go to destroy them. Those outrages were an attack on all of us. In standing firm in defence of these principles, the governments and people of the US and Europe have amply demonstrated the strength of their convictions. Today, more than ever, the transatlantic bond is a guarantee of our freedom.

We in Europe have a relationship with the US that has stood the test of time. Thanks in large part to American bravery, generosity and farsightedness, Europe was set free from the two forms of tyranny that devastated our continent in the 20th century: nazism and communism. Thanks, too, to the continued co-operation between Europe and the US we have managed to guarantee peace and freedom on our continent. The transatlantic relationship must not become a casualty of the current Iraqi regime’s persistent attempts to threaten world security.

In today’s world, more than ever before, it is vital that we preserve that unity and cohesion. We know that success in the day-to-day battle against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction demands unwavering determination and firm international cohesion on the part of all countries for whom freedom is precious.

The Iraqi regime and its weapons of mass destruction represent a clear threat to world security. This danger has been explicitly recognised by the UN. All of us are bound by Security Council resolution 1441, which was adopted unanimously. We Europeans have since reiterated our backing for resolution 1441, our wish to pursue the UN route, and our support for the Security Council at the Prague NATO summit and the Copenhagen European Council.

In doing so, we sent a clear, firm and unequivocal message that we would rid the world of the danger posed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. We must remain united in insisting that his regime be disarmed. The solidarity, cohesion and determination of the international community are our best hope of achieving this peacefully. Our strength lies in unity.

The combination of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism is a threat of incalculable consequences. It is one at which all of us should feel concerned. Resolution 1441 is Hussein’s last chance to disarm using peaceful means. The opportunity to avoid greater confrontation rests with him.

Sadly, this week the UN weapons inspectors have confirmed that his long-established pattern of deception, denial and non-compliance with UN Security Council resolutions is continuing.

Europe has no quarrel with the Iraqi people. Indeed, they are the first victims of Iraq’s brutal regime. Our goal is to safeguard world peace and security by ensuring that this regime gives up its weapons of mass destruction. Our governments have a common responsibility to face this threat. Failure to do so would be nothing less than negligent to our own citizens and to the wider world.

The UN Charter charges the Security Council with the task of preserving international peace and security. To do so, the Security Council must maintain its credibility by ensuring full compliance with its resolutions.

We cannot allow a dictator to systematically violate those resolutions.

If they are not complied with, the Security Council will lose its credibility and world peace will suffer as a result.

We are confident that the Security Council will face up to its responsibilities.

Jose Maria Aznar – Prime Minister of Spain

Jose Manuel Durao Barroso – Prime Minister of Portugal

Silvio Berlusconi – Prime Minister of Italy

Tony Blair – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Peter Medgyessy – Prime Minister of Hungary

Leszek Miller – Prime Minister of Poland

Anders Fogh Rasmussen – Prime Minister of Denmark

Vaclav Havel – President of the Czech Republic

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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