Final Word from Thursday, January 9, 2003

Czech ministers don't like to talk about going to war with Iraq, and when they've had to, they've always stressed that it could only happen with the U.N. Security Council's approval. The U.S. has now asked the CR for help in preparing for war, which puts the cabinet and Parliament in a difficult position. They might be forced to make a decision on Iraq before the U.N. addresses the issue. The CR is reportedly the only country other than the U.K. that has received a request from the U.S., which, if true, makes the Czech decision all that more difficult. Lawmakers will have to ask themselves to what extent Washington is interested in Prague's military excellence and to what extent this is a political move meant to put pressure on the EU. The CR isn't yet an EU member, but it's already facing a potential clash with its future partners: Will it be Washington's way, or Brussels'?


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