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<td class="sectiontitle">Top Stories - Reuters</td>

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Bush Rejects Europeans on Iraq Contract Flap

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<td noWrap width="99%"><span class="regs">Add <a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/addtomy/*http://edit.my.yahoo.com/config/set_news?.add=rt&amp;.src=yn&amp;.done=http%3a//news.yahoo.com/%3ftmpl=story%26cid=564%26ncid=564%26e=1%26u=/nm/20031211/ts_nm/iraq_usa_dc_8">Top

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<font size="-1"><i>By Steve Holland</i></font>

<p>WASHINGTON (Reuters) - <font face="arial" size="-1">President

Bush (<a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news?p=%22President%20Bush%22&amp;c=&amp;n=20&amp;yn=c&amp;c=news&amp;cs=nw">news</a>

- <a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.yahoo.com/search/search?p=George+W.+Bush">web

sites</a>) on Thursday rejected European criticism of his decision

to bar Iraq (<a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news?p=%22Iraq%22&amp;c=&amp;n=20&amp;yn=c&amp;c=news&amp;cs=nw">news</a>

- <a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?cs=nw&amp;p=Iraq">web

sites</a>) war opponents from $18.6 billion in U.S. reconstruction

money for Iraq and said contracts would be reserved for those

countries that risked lives in Iraq.</font>

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<a class="regs" href="javascript: rs(&quot;ss&quot;,&quot;http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?g=events/iraq/082701iraqplane&amp;tmpl=sl&amp;e=1&quot;,750,580);">AP

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Iraq</a></td>

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<td><center><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/iraq/2/*http://news.yahoo.com/iraq"><img height="38" alt="Special Coverages" src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/th/postiraq_158x38.jpg" width="158" border="0"></a></center>

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<td><font face="arial" size="2"><b>Latest

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<td width="1%"><b>·</b></td>

<td width="99%"><font face="arial" size="-1"><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/iraq/export/top2/*http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&amp;u=/afp/20031211/wl_mideast_afp/iraq_us_unrest_attack&amp;cid=1514&amp;ncid=1480">Three

suicide car bombers cause US

casualties at Iraq base</a></font><br>

<span class="provtimedate">AFP -</span>

<span class="recenttimedate">12

minutes ago</span></td>

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<td width="1%"><b>·</b></td>

<td width="99%"><font face="arial" size="-1"><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/iraq/export/top2/*http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&amp;u=/ap/20031211/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq&amp;cid=540&amp;ncid=1480">Iraq

Suicide Attack Causes U.S.

Casualties</a></font><br>

<span class="provtimedate">AP -</span>

<span class="recenttimedate">24

minutes ago</span></td>

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<td width="1%"><b>·</b></td>

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Defends Iraq Reconstruction Policy</a></font><br>

<span class="provtimedate">AP -</span>

<span class="recenttimedate">24

minutes ago</span></td>

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<td><font face="arial" size="2"><b><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/iraq/2/*http://news.yahoo.com/iraq">Special

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<font face="arial" size="-1">

<p>&quot;It's very simple. Our people risked their lives. Friendly

coalition folks risked their lives, and therefore the contracting

is going to reflect that, and that's what the U.S. taxpayers

expect,&quot; Bush said.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>The decision to bar war opponents like France, Russia and

Germany from the contracts generated outrage in Europe and

triggered new transatlantic tensions.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>The timing of the announcement created a new challenge for

Bush, coming as he prepared to send former Secretary of State

James Baker to France, Germany and Russia as well as Italy and

Britain to seek debt restructuring for Iraq.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>&quot;If these countries want to participate in helping the

world become more secure, by enabling Iraq to emerge as a free and

peaceful country, one way to contribute is through debt

restructuring,&quot; Bush said.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>But helping reduce Iraq's estimated $120 billion foreign debt

will not mean those nations can compete for the $18.6 billion, he

said.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Baker, a Bush family

friend, will leave on Monday for Europe and will report back to

Bush.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>&quot;We all share the same goal of helping the Iraqi people

build a better and brighter future and they should not be saddled

with the debt of a brutal regime,&quot; McClellan said.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>Bush telephoned French President Jacques Chirac, German

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin

(<a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news?p=%22Vladimir%0APutin%22&amp;c=&amp;n=20&amp;yn=c&amp;c=news&amp;cs=nw">news</a>

- <a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?cs=nw&amp;p=Vladimir%20Putin">web

sites</a>) on Wednesday to ask them to receive Baker.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>Bush scoffed at a question seeking his reaction to Schroeder's

statement on Thursday that international law must apply to the

awarding of the contracts.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>&quot;International law? I better call my lawyer,&quot; he

said.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>The European Union (<a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news?p=%22European%20Union%22&amp;c=&amp;n=20&amp;yn=c&amp;c=news&amp;cs=nw">news</a>

- <a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?cs=nw&amp;p=European%20Union">web

sites</a>)'s governing commission had said it would investigate

whether the decision violated world trade rules. The United States

insists that its decision conforms to world trade rules.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>Companies likely to benefit most come from Britain, Japan,

Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea (<a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news?p=%22South%20Korea%22&amp;c=&amp;n=20&amp;yn=c&amp;c=news&amp;cs=nw">news</a>

- <a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/manual/*http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?cs=nw&amp;p=South%20Korea">web

sites</a>) and Poland.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>Other supporters of the war include Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark,

Honduras, Hungary, Kazakhstan and the Philippines.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>U.S. officials said the decision applied only to the $18.6

billion in reconstruction funds approved by the U.S. Congress last

month.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>They said $13 billion in international aid pledged at a recent

donors conference in Madrid was eligible for broader international

participation.

<p>&nbsp;

<p>Companies from countries not directly involved in Iraq's

postwar reconstruction can also act as subcontractors if selected

by those eligible to seek contracts under the U.S. fund.

<p>&nbsp;

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New Page 1
 
Top Stories - Reuters
Bush Rejects Europeans on Iraq Contract Flap
Reuters
55 minutes ago
Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) on Thursday rejected European criticism of his decision to bar Iraq (news - web sites) war opponents from $18.6 billion in U.S. reconstruction money for Iraq and said contracts would be reserved for those countries that risked lives in Iraq.

 
Photo
Reuters Photo
AP Photo Photo
AP Photo
Slideshow Slideshow: Iraq


Special Coverages
Latest headlines:
· Three suicide car bombers cause US casualties at Iraq base
AFP - 12 minutes ago
· Iraq Suicide Attack Causes U.S. Casualties
AP - 24 minutes ago
· Bush Defends Iraq Reconstruction Policy
AP - 24 minutes ago
Special Coverage

 

"It's very simple. Our people risked their lives. Friendly coalition folks risked their lives, and therefore the contracting is going to reflect that, and that's what the U.S. taxpayers expect," Bush said.

 

The decision to bar war opponents like France, Russia and Germany from the contracts generated outrage in Europe and triggered new transatlantic tensions.

 

The timing of the announcement created a new challenge for Bush, coming as he prepared to send former Secretary of State James Baker to France, Germany and Russia as well as Italy and Britain to seek debt restructuring for Iraq.

 

"If these countries want to participate in helping the world become more secure, by enabling Iraq to emerge as a free and peaceful country, one way to contribute is through debt restructuring," Bush said.

 

But helping reduce Iraq's estimated $120 billion foreign debt will not mean those nations can compete for the $18.6 billion, he said.

 

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Baker, a Bush family friend, will leave on Monday for Europe and will report back to Bush.

 

"We all share the same goal of helping the Iraqi people build a better and brighter future and they should not be saddled with the debt of a brutal regime," McClellan said.

 

Bush telephoned French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin (news - web sites) on Wednesday to ask them to receive Baker.

 

Bush scoffed at a question seeking his reaction to Schroeder's statement on Thursday that international law must apply to the awarding of the contracts.

 

"International law? I better call my lawyer," he said.

 

The European Union (news - web sites)'s governing commission had said it would investigate whether the decision violated world trade rules. The United States insists that its decision conforms to world trade rules.

 

Companies likely to benefit most come from Britain, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea (news - web sites) and Poland.

 

Other supporters of the war include Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Honduras, Hungary, Kazakhstan and the Philippines.

 

U.S. officials said the decision applied only to the $18.6 billion in reconstruction funds approved by the U.S. Congress last month.

 

They said $13 billion in international aid pledged at a recent donors conference in Madrid was eligible for broader international participation.

 

Companies from countries not directly involved in Iraq's postwar reconstruction can also act as subcontractors if selected by those eligible to seek contracts under the U.S. fund.