US drops Angola from pro-war "coalition"
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States dropped Angola from the public list of "coalition of the willing" nations supporting war on Iraq (news - web sites), but added Costa Rica, Palau, and Panama for a net gain of two declared members.
The maneuvering brought to 46 the total of countries that publicly back the US-led military campaign. Washington has trumpeted the list in an attempt to drown out stubborn world opposition to the war.
The African nation was on the official White House internet list on Thursday, but had vanished from the accounting a day later. White House and State Department officials offered no explanation for the change.
They also insist that some supporters have refused to be named.
Angola's vote at the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member had placed it at the center of a diplomatic tug-of-war earlier this month between the United States, Britain and Spain and an anti-war faction led by France, Germany, Russia, and to a lesser extent China.
Washington failed to overcome a French veto threat, and none of the six nations seen as wavering between the two camps publicly came out in support of US President George W. Bush (news - web sites)'s efforts to disarm Iraq by force.