I just wanted to write a comment for this in order to see if I can get people using a different approach for this. I've developed a web service to delivery country lists (as well as states and cities using ajax). I did it to address an issue I was having. This will be updated and might be a better option in order to keep your country lists up to date (eg. Yugoslavia doesn't exist any more).
If people are interested in this approach, you can go to http://geodata.solutions
Hope this might be useful