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US slams Croatia, Chile over opposition

March 20, 2003

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ZAGREB, March 19: The United States on Wednesday voiced disappointment over Croatia’s opposition to military intervention in Iraq without the support of the United Nations, warning it could have negative consequences for their relations.

“I am disappointed with the position of the Croatian government. The Croatian government has had an opportunity to boost cooperation and partnership with the big coalition of states, led by the US,” the US ambassador here, Lawrence Rossin, told the weekly Globus in an interview.

“I do not know what they (the consequences) will be like but I believe that there will be some. That is inevitable,” he stressed.

Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan said on Tuesday his government did “not support an armed operation if it is not endorsed by the UN Security Council.”

However, he said the United States would be allowed to use the country’s airspace and airports to refuel some aircraft carrying troops and equipment for a possible war against Iraq, as decided on Feb 26.

SANTIAGO: The United States has asked Chile to abstain from “provocative steps”.

Chile openly voiced its opposition to the second resolution at the United Nations Security Council. On Tuesday it expressed its “profound disappointment” at the failure to find a “multilateral solution” to the crisis, with force used only as a final resort.

“This seriously affects the efficiency of the principal body in charge of protecting the maintenance of international peace and security,” the Chilean foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to the 15-member Security Council.—AFP/dpa