EU officials have expressed outrage
over the bombing outside the International Committee of the Red Cross headquarters
in Baghdad, but they say the situation in Iraq is not out of control. The European
Union says it is concerned about the effect the attack will have on the delivery
of aid to the Iraqi people.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who was in Brussels for an EU foreign
ministers' meeting, told reporters that the occupying powers in Iraq, including
his country, will not be deterred by the attacks. "I would like to express
my shock and outrage at this specious terrorist incident in Baghdad," he said, "and
the fact that the terrorists have yet again targeted not U.S. or UK troops,
but an international organization there solely for humanitarian relief shows
the depth of depravity to which they stoop, and the fact they represent no
high ideal, but only the very worst of the remnants of the Saddam regime."
Mr. Straw said the security situation in Baghdad is unsatisfactory, but that,
overall, the situation across the country is getting better.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana called the situation in Iraq not very
good, but he said the security situation is not out of control.
A spokesman for the European Commission, the EU executive body, said he is
worried about the impact the attack on Red Cross headquarters will have on
that organization's relief efforts, which are partially funded by the European
The spokesman, Reijo Kempinnen, said the Red Cross presence in Iraq has nothing
to do with politics, but only with delivering humanitarian aid. He said the
Red Cross, which announced that it will reassess its working conditions in
Iraq, has delivered relief to the Iraqi people under exceptionally difficult
The European Commission, meanwhile, released an opinion poll of citizens
across the 15 nation bloc on their attitude toward the war in Iraq and the
reconstruction effort there. The poll, taken before last week's donors conference
for Iraq in Madrid, says that close to two-thirds of EU citizens believe the
U.S.-led invasion of the country was unjustified and that the United States
should pay to rebuild Iraq.