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'Europe and America must stand united' - Blair

'Europe and America must
stand united'

Prime Minister Tony Blair and the leaders of Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Denmark and the Czech Republic have said Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to systematically violate UN resolutions. They said: 'We must remain united in insisting that his regime is disarmed.'

The statement, issued to newspapers around the world, declared that the relationship between Europe and the USA must not become a casualty of the current Iraqi regime's 'persistent attempts to threaten world security'.

The leaders displayed broad European support for a tough stance with Iraq, insisting that Saddam Hussein's regime is disarmed. They said:

"The solidarity, cohesion and determination of the international community are our best hope of achieving this peacefully. Our strength lies in unity."

The statement said that there is a common responsibility to face the threat from Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. Failure to do so would be 'nothing less than negligent to our own citizens and to the wider world'.

Signalling strong support for the UN, they added:

"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.

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

The article was signed by Prime Ministers Jose María Aznar, José Manuel Durão Barroso, Silvio Berlusconi, Tony Blair, Vaclav Havel, Peter Medgyessy, Leszek Miller and Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

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