hope this isnt a repostWar Money Accidentally Offered to Peaceful Slovenia
Fri March 28, 2003 10:42 AM ET
LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - The United States mistakenly named Slovenia as a partner in its war against Iraq and even offered it a share of the money budgeted for the conflict, the tiny Alpine nation said on Thursday.
One day after hundreds of Slovenians hit the streets to protest the inclusion of their nation in Tuesday's U.S. war budget, Prime Minister Anton Rop said Washington goofed.
"When we asked for an explanation, the State Department told us we were named in the document by mistake as we are not a member of the coalition against Iraq," Rop told a hastily arranged news conference.
Slovenia was one of the states named in the $75 billion U.S. war budget which must be approved by Congress and includes grants to partners in the U.S.-led military action. Slovenia was slated to get $4.5 million from the budget, which Rop said will not be forthcoming.
"We are a part of no such coalition. We are a part of a coalition for peace," Rop said.
Slovenia also said on Thursday it had granted a U.S. request to allow airplanes with humanitarian aid, refugees and wounded fly over the country to and from Iraq.
But it stuck to an earlier decision to hold off a U.S. request to transport military equipment through the country, until the U.N. Security Council authorized force against Iraq.
Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the east and Croatia to the south.