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Rice Assures NATO US Respects Rule of Law

08 December 2005

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says great democracies have an obligation to respect the rule of law.

She also told reporters Thursday in Brussels that if allegations of human rights abuses by U.S. personnel are reported, they will be investigated and punished.

Ms. Rice discussed U.S. policy on detainees with NATO officials on Wednesday. Afterward, NATO Secretary-General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer said Ms. Rice had cleared the air about Washington's views on secret prisons and the treatment of terrorist suspects overseas. He did not elaborate.

Ms. Rice's four-nation European tour has been overshadowed by reports that the CIA has used European airports to fly terror suspects to secret prisons in eastern Europe. She has not confirmed or denied the existence of the prisons, but on Wednesday she said the United Nations Convention Against Torture applies to U.S. personnel both at home and abroad.

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