Final Word from Tuesday, February 18, 2003

EU members agreed yesterday on an Iraq policy that the CR will have little trouble accepting. War is a last resort, the EU decided. Czech officials have been saying basically the same thing. The CR and other candidate countries weren't invited to the summit because they took sides against France and Germany in the media battle that preceded the decision, not because their stated positions on Iraq differed so greatly. The Czechs have wanted to sit on both sides of the transatlantic fence, and the EU (and esp. French President Jacques Chirac) is saying that this isn't possible. When Premier Vladimír Špidla and Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda travel to Brussels today, they can blame the whole misunderstanding on Václav Havel, or they can insist that the CR truly did have its own independent view on Iraq. Is it still too early for the CR to begin putting the Havel presidency behind it?


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