The Polish government is now retracting the claim that French-made Roland missiles found in Iraq had been manufactured in 2003.
After a protest from French President Jacques Chirac, Poland said Saturday it had been mistaken in reporting that its troops found new French-made anti-aircraft missiles in central Iraq.
Chirico swiftly denied selling Iraq weapons in violation of the U.N. weapons embargo imposed against Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1990. The claims, he said, "are as false today as they were yesterday."
An aide to the Polish prime minister said an initial report that the Roland missiles found by Polish troops days ago were produced in 2003 was incorrect. France said it stopped producing any type of Roland missile in 1993.
Prime Minister Leszek Miller met with Chirac twice to explain the mistake, said the aide, Tadeusz Iwinski. The two leaders were in Rome on Saturday for a European Union summit.
So, it appears that the Poles got things wrong, and the Roland missiles found in Iraq had been manufactured at some time before 1993 when production of the Roland missile system ended.
Unfortunately, as many things as there are to criticize the French about, this isn’t one of them.