US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is prepared to address European doubts about US practices in the war on terror during a gathering of Nato countries. Complaints that the US has overstepped its bounds over torture have dogged Rice through a four-nation tour this week.She's fully prepared to have a good discussion," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
Rice was attending the Nato meeting in Brussels, after seeking to clarify US policy on the use of harsh interrogation methods. Rice has refused to answer directly whether the United States keeps terrorist suspects in detention centres that violate European legal and human rights guarantees. She assured the new German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday that the US would work to rectify any mistakes it had made in its war on terror.
Rice has asserted that the US acts within the law and tried to argue that the Europeans are safer because of tough US tactics. Sustained criticism in the media and open scepticism from some European leaders indicate that the issue isn't going away.
Before Rice arrived in Brussels, Europe's leading human rights watchdog group said it hoped to be able to see satellite images of sites in Romania and Poland as part of its investigation into alleged secret CIA prisons and air transport of terrorists in Europe.
A top Council of Europe official said the body had been granted permission to look at images in the archives of the European Union's main satellite centre, as well as log books held by the EU's air safety organisation.
Rene van der Linden, chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, also said America's war on terror was not a real war. "There is ... a difference of opinion between Condoleezza Rice and the Council of Europe, because the law of war doesn't exist. We have international conventions. We are fully in favour of the fight against terrorism, but we have to be aware that certain cases can not be accepted," van der Linden said, reports the AP. I.L.
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