U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says great democracies have an obligation to respect the rule of law.
She also told reporters on 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, the officials said they were satisfied with her explanation on reports that the CIA used European airports to fly terror suspects to secret prisons in eastern Europe.
Ms. Rice's four-nation European tour has been overshadowed by those reports. She has not confirmed or denied the existence of the prisons, but earlier Wednesday she said U.S. personnel do not use cruel or harsh methods when questioning suspects.
Ms. Rice also gave NATO officials assurances that the Bush administration does not interpret international humanitarian law differently from its European allies.