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[casi] Belgium Refuses U.S. Request to Expel Iraq Diplomat

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Hello all,
Belgium Refuses U.S. Request to Expel Iraq Diplomat. Not bad for a tiny country.
Let the other countries act in the same way. Let them say no to US blackmail.
And the protests of the people should help the governments to say no to this kind of requests that 
violate all international laws.
After all, it will be the world-population that will bring the war-machine to a stand.
In Belgium, the trade-unions are calling for a strike on friday 14 between 11am and 12am in 
opposition to the war.
Greetings. And I wish you all a very good demonstration on saturday 15 march.
Dirk Adriaensens.

Belgium Refuses U.S. Request to Expel Iraq Diplomat
Tue March 11, 2003 10:38 AM ET

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium said on Tuesday it had turned down a U.S. request to expel an Iraqi 
diplomat, one of many recent requests from Washington for countries to throw out Iraqis suspected 
of intelligence activities.
"We feel there were no elements which would justify an expulsion," a spokesman for the Belgian 
Foreign Ministry spokesman told Reuters.

The request was based on U.S. allegations that the diplomat was engaged in activities which were 
not compatible with the person's diplomatic status, he said, declining to elaborate on the 
allegations or identify the diplomat.

Iraqi embassy officials in Brussels were not available for comment.

Iraq has accused Washington of inventing pretexts to expel its diplomats and convince other nations 
to do the same as a war to rid Iraq of suspected weapons of mass destruction looms.

Australia, a close U.S. ally, expelled an Iraqi diplomat on Tuesday and Romania sent five Iraqi 
diplomats back home for alleged "incompatible" activities the previous day.

Germany has also received a U.S. request, which Berlin said it was considering.

The United States is facing opposition from France, Russia and other key countries in setting a 
March 17 deadline for Iraq to disarm.

Last week, the United States expelled two Iraqi diplomats from Iraq's U.N. mission in New York.

It is not the first time that Belgium has stood up against the United States during the crisis over 

Last month, it joined France and Germany in briefly blocking a request to NATO to protect Turkey in 
the event of war in Iraq.

NATO preparations went ahead after the three countries received assurances that defending Turkey 
was not the first step toward war.

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