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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Countries Opposing Iraq War in U.S. Disfavor

Aired May 20, 2003 - 19:36   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Some of the nations that opposed the war have seen their stock fall in Washington. Other countries that backed the war are getting a bit better treatment.
In the State Department tonight, Andrea Koppel now on the benefits that some countries are seeing for playing ball with the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Philippines president Gloria Arroyo, a much-coveted White House state visit replete with symbols as well as substance.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States plans to designate the Philippines as a major non-NATO ally.

KOPPEL: Another close ally, Prime Minister Howard of Australia, got a rare invitation to the president's Crawford ranch.

Washington has become a revolving door for dignitaries -- leaders whose governments remained in lockstep with The United States on Iraq. Singled out for special attention, seven European countries set to become NATO members.

ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) unabashedly proud to say thank you to those countries.

KOPPEL: Since the war in Iraq ended, Secretary of State Powell announced Poland will get a special deal on 48 F-16s and promises a future U.S. investment -- while President Bush froze the assets of a Ba'ath separatist organization considered terrorist by Spain. The president also signed off on a free-trade agreement with Singapore, but not with (UNINTELLIGIBLE), whose deal was delayed after refusing to support a second U.N. resolution authorizing war with Iraq.

CHARLES KUPCHAN, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I think, clearly, they are saying those that were with us will benefit, those that were against us will suffer. Exactly what type of suffering is coming down the road, it's too soon to tell.

KOPPEL: Already there are indications of U.S. displeasure. A White House decision not to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday, unlike previous years. A last-minute cancellation of a presidential trip to Canada. A snub by Attorney General Ashcroft of a press conference following a justice minister's meeting in Paris. And France accused the Bush administration of smearing its good name by mounting a disinformation campaign in the American media.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the purpose of these false accusations against France?

KOPPEL (on camera): The Bush administration denies there is a deliberate U.S. campaign to discredit France, but does not dispute that France and others may suffer unspecified consequences.

The next real test of this relationship could be just around the corner -- whether France will support a U.S. push to lift remaining U.N. sanctions on Iraq.

Andrea Koppel, CNN, at the State Department.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HEMMER: And that brings us to tonight's question about whether or not the U.S. is a sore winner, as some have said, after the war in Iraq -- playing favorites with certain countries that helped in that effort.

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