Thursday, June 22, 2006 · Last updated 7:17 p.m. PT
Costa Rica wants Iraq reference removed
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Costa Rica wants its name erased from the list of countries supporting the invasion of Iraq. But the United States says that's not possible.
The Costa Rican government initially supported the invasion, but public sentiment was never strong and polls show now that most Costa Ricans oppose the war.
Opponents of the fighting took the name issue to the country's Supreme Court, which ruled the references to support should be removed.
While the U.S. government removed the Central American nation from the list of the so-called "coalition of the willing" in 2004, it still appears in archive documents and on related Internet Web sites that haven't been updated.
"We are insisting through diplomatic routes that it be clarified our country was removed" from the list, Costa Rican Foreign Relations Minister Bruno Stagno told Radio Eco Thursday.
Stagno asked the U.S. government in May to ensure that the country's name was erased from all lists, but said the State Department told him on June 19 saying that wasn't possible.
U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica Mark Langdale, who delivered the response, said the list is part of the Web page's archives and appear in other parts of the Internet.
"Although they aren't correct anymore, they form part of the historic record and can't be modified or removed," he said. "We regret any confusion these archives have caused."