European Union leaders are in the second day of their summit meeting in Brussels, focusing Friday on talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and financial aid for the war-torn country.
The EU leaders, who are meeting with Mr. Allawi over lunch are giving Iraq a new assistance package worth at least $21 million, financing for Iraqi elections and police training and to support a U.N. security force. The aid is in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance the European Union pledged to Iraq earlier this year.
French President Jacques Chirac left the summit before the talks with Mr. Allawi. France is said to have been angered by the interim prime minister's recent description of countries that opposed the war in Iraq - France among them - as "spectators" during the turmoil in Iraq.
Prime Minister Allawi said Friday that Iraqis "definitely want to forge a positive alliance with Europe."