Operation Red Dawn - Reactions - Europe

Europe

Belgium: The Flemish-language De Standaard newspaper stated that "Showing degrading pictures of a prisoner, even if he was a cruel tyrant, does not increase the moral authority of those who overpowered him."

France: A statement from President Jacques Chirac said,"The president is delighted with Saddam Hussein's arrest."

Germany: Chancellor Gerhard Schröder greeted the development "with much happiness." In a telegram to George W. Bush, he called for intensified efforts to rebuild Iraq.

Vatican City: Top Curia official Renato Martino, a cardinal deacon and President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, attacked the way Saddam Hussein was treated by his captors, saying he had been dealt with like an animal. Martino said he had felt pity watching video of "this man destroyed, looking at his teeth as if he were a beast." The cardinal, a leading critic of the US-led war in Iraq, said he hoped the capture would not make matters "worse." Pope John Paul II did not comment.

Poland: Poland at the time commanded thousands of international troops in Iraq. Defence Minister Jerzy Szmajdziński welcomed the news, but said the arrest could prompt retaliation from Saddam's supporters. "The coming days could be equally dangerous as these past days," he said.

Russia: Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said, "We think the arrest of Saddam Hussein will contribute to the strengthening of security in Iraq and to the process of political regulation in the country with the active participation of the United Nations."

Spain: Prime Minister José María Aznar said that "Saddam is directly responsible for the killing of millions of people over the last 30 years. Today, the moment has arrived for him to pay for his crimes.

United Kingdom: Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Bush's strongest Iraq War ally, called the capture good news for Iraqis, saying: "It removes the shadow that has been hanging over them for too long of the nightmare of a return to the Saddam regime."

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