Final Word from Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda announced a major shift in the CR's attitude towad Iraq in an interview with the BBC last week, but hardly anyone noticed. He said that the field hospital now in Basra would be pulled out at the end of the year and that the CR wouldn't commit any new funds to Iraq at the donors' conference in Madrid this week. The lone exception might be forgiveness of some debt that Prague would have trouble collecting from Baghdad anyway. Svoboda's announcement came at a time when the CR is showing increased flexibility on the EU Constitution. Unlike Poland and Spain, the CR is pretty much "keeping quiet" this time. French President Jacques Chirac might have had reason to get upset with the CR over its lack of EU solidarity prior to the start of the Iraq war, but today he can be pleased that Prague is falling back into line. France U.S.


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