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Old 11-05-2004, 04:05 AM   #1
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Allawi does Europe

It could be a very disturbing porn movie or it may just be the visit to Rome by Iraq's interim PM Iyad Allawi. I think that this is a productive step, regardless of where nations stood on the issue of getting rid of Saddam Europe and many in the World have an interest in seeing a free and prosperous Iraq, one cannot help but appreciate the snub by Chirac on the matter - but of course I have no bad feelings towards a leader who would be so gracious and giving to a man like Yasser Arafat - spectator indeed.
By Mark John and Marie-Louise Moller

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi sought to calm anger on Friday over his description of states that opposed the U.S.-led war to oust Saddam Hussein as "spectators."

But several EU leaders said his comment, on a visit to Rome on Thursday, was unhelpful ahead of a first meeting at which the 25-nation bloc is due to offer him a modest aid package as it seeks a fresh start after bitter divisions over Iraq.

"What I said is that history is history, past is past. We need to start operations, to start a new chapter and look to the future. We definitely want to forge a positive alliance with Europe," Allawi told reporters after a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Brussels.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called Allawi's comment "a slip of the tongue" and said he would remind the prime minister of Germany's contribution in training Iraqi police and military in the United Arab Emirates and in offering to write off a substantial amount of Iraqi debt.
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