Growing rift between EU and US over terrorism

The French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine
has become the latest European politician to voice concerns
over the direction of US foreign policy. Mr Védrine has
accused Washington of unilateralism and “simplistic” foreign
policy “that reduces all the problems of the world to the war
against terrorism”.

Political analysts believe MrVédrine's comments may
signal the end of the post-September 11 honeymoon during
which the EU offered unconditional support to the US. The
comments were provoked by President George W Bush's annual
State of the Union address, in which threatened military
action against what he called an "axis of evil" - Iraq,
Iran and North Korea.

European politicians had earlier
protested against the treatment of the Al-Qaida and Taleban
prisoners, detained by the US at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
They demanded that the captured terrorists be treated as
prisoners of war.

The EU is also concerned about the US
government's position in the Middle East crisis.

Officials expect that a number of EU-US
disputes that were taken off the agenda during the
four-month "grace period" - including environment, trade
and defence - will now return to haunt EU-US relations.


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