European Union leaders have offered what they called strong support for Iraq, including pledges of additional technical assistance.
Following talks with Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi at their summit in Brussels, EU leaders pledged to give Iraq about $38 million in technical assistance for elections scheduled in January. They also pledged funds for a security force to protect United Nations workers in Iraq.
French President Jacques Chirac left the summit for the United Arab Emirates before the talks with Mr. Allawi. French officials insisted this was not a snub of the Iraqi leader. But earlier reports said Mr. Chirac had been angered by Mr. Allawi's recent description of countries, like France, that opposed the war in Iraq as "spectators" during the Iraqi conflict.