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The letter of the eight
The letter of the eight was signed on 30 January, 2003, by the prime ministers for five of then fifteen members of the European Union in addition to three high representatives, including Václav Havel, for the Central European countries that were to enter the union in 2004. It expressed indirect support for the United States' ambition of a régime change in Iraq by means of an invasion under the pretext of the Iraq disarmament crisis. To most observers it demonstrated a total division within the EU in respect to foreign policy and attitudes towards international law.
The letter, from the governments of United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, accused Saddam Hussein of continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction, and urged the UN Security Council to act against that threat. The statement's content was uncontroversial, saying that Saddam Hussein should not be allowed to violate U.N. resolutions, but the exclusion of ten of EU's then fifteen members was interpreted as a signal of deep division — and the impossibility of EU's attempted Common Security Policy.
The letter was on 6 February followed by the Vilnius letter, a more outspoken declaration of support for the position of the United States from the Vilnius group composed of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Macedonia, Romania, and the then-member of the UN Security Council, Bulgaria.
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