European Commission President Romano Prodi has backed calls by US presidential hopeful John Kerry to hold an international conference on Iraq.
Prodi's statement of support for Kerry's Iraq conference proposal is likely to be interpreted as tacit support for Kerry’s campaign and a criticism of US President George W. Bush’s policies. In an interview with the Bloomberg news agency, Prodi said that the conference, proposed by Kerry to re-engage the international community, would help dissolve some of the splits over the execution of the war in Iraq. "A conference is certainly a message of a new strategy: not war but negotiation, trying to solve the problems together", Prodi said. However he backed away from an outright endorsement of the Democratic candidate. It would "not only [be] unfair, but indelicate to interfere or to make forecasts about internal political decisions", Prodi is quoted as saying. (EUobserver.com)