Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

State visit of President Bush

Delivered in Plenary - November 17th 2003

Mr President

The speech by the Greek Communist Member who condemned the USA as an imperialist occupier of Iraq is a little rich from a party which in its day supported the USSR's invasion and crushing of the Hungarian uprising in 1956, the Czechoslovak 'Prague Spring' in 1968 and the Afghan invasion in 1979. The USSR would never have left these countries if it had not been forced to do so by the economic collapse of the Communist system.

Unlike Baroness Ludford, I welcome tomorrow's state visit by President Bush to the United Kingdom, and his commitment to hand over power to a democratically elected Iraqi Government by the end of next year. I salute the courage of all the brave coalition forces in Iraq who are fighting for law and order and freedom and justice in that country, and against international Islamic terrorism.