Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

France and Germany Must Get Behind NATO in Iraq

17th September 2004

The European Parliament has voted through a resolution on Iraq which focuses on the humanitarian and security situation.

With elections due in January 2005 the current instability in Iraq continues to cause doubts as to whether these can still go ahead. The role of international forces and support has also been raised with MEPs calling for countries such as Germany and France to support NATO involvement.

Following the vote, Charles Tannock MEP, Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman in the European Parliament, said:

"The situation in Iraq remains precarious. Everyone must now come together in sympathy for the Iraqi people who yearn for stability in their country.

I condemn the perpetuation of indiscriminate attacks against the new sovereign government of Dr Allawi and the multinational peacekeeping forces and the barbaric kidnapping and murdering of hostages, solely on the basis of being non-Muslim, or co-operating in rebuilding the country, such as the Italian aid workers.

I call upon EU countries who opposed the war - such as France and Germany - to put this behind them now and support new Nato initiatives to build up security in Iraq. After all, we all share a common interest in fighting international terrorism. By kidnapping two French journalists, Islamic terrorists have not respected French neutrality, instead blaming France for defending its understandable and much cherished secularism by its banning of the veil in its schools."