EU might not fund Iraq aid if war illegal - Patten

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - The European Union might be unwilling to fund the reconstruction of Iraq if the United States went to war without United Nations authority, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten told the European Parliament that launching military action without proper U.N. backing would do enormous damage to the United Nations, NATO and transatlantic relations.

He warned Washington that democracy could not be imposed at the barrel of a gun and said an Iraq war would be likely to fan terrorism, especially if the United States failed to work harder for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

"It will be that much more difficult for the EU to co-operate fully and on a large scale -- also in the longer-term reconstruction process -- if events unfold without proper UN cover and if the (EU) member states remain divided," Patten said.


Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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