The letter of the eight

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The letter of the eight was signed on 30 January 2003, by the prime ministers for five of then fifteen members of the European Union in addition to three high representatives for the Central European countries that were to enter the union in 2004. It expressed indirect support for United States ambition of a régime change in Iraq in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. To most observers[who?] it demonstrated a total division within the EU in respect to foreign policy and attitudes towards international law.

The letter, from the governments of Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, accused Saddam Hussein of continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction and urged the UN Security Council to act against that threat. The statement's content was not controversial, as it said that Saddam Hussein should not be allowed to violate UN resolutions, but the exclusion of ten of EU's 15 members was interpreted as a signal of deep division and the difficulty of implementing the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy.

The letter was on 6 February followed by the Vilnius letter, a more outspoken declaration of support for the position of the United States from the Vilnius group composed of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, and a member of the UN Security Council, Bulgaria.

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