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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:51, March 16, 2007
Blair refuses to apologize for Iraq war
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British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday refused to say sorry for the 2003 Iraq war, saying the Western world should stop apologizing for trying to do the "right thing" there.

In an exclusive live interview at the Sky News television, five days before the fourth anniversary of the outbreak of the Iraq war on March 20, Blair said, "We're not making it worse, they (terrorists) are making it worse... Until the Western world stops apologizing for its values, stops apologizing for the work its troops are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, we're never going to defeat this."

"The British soldiers, the American soldiers have done extraordinary work in Iraq, they've made very great sacrifices." he said.

"It's a tragedy that so many have lost their lives. But they have not lost their lives because we have been trying to do the wrong thing in Iraq ... We've been trying to do the right thing," he added.

"We should be there to fight those people when they are trying to do is destroy by terrorism the chance by people to get a democracy," Blair said.

During the interview, Blair also defended his decision to go to war, insisting that he had no regrets about supporting U.S. President George W. Bush over the invasion of Iraq.

"I do not either regret the strength of our alliance with the U.S. or standing by the U.S. president and the American people in the aftermath of Sept. 11 and I'm never going to do that," he said.

Blair said Iraq was not "at civil war," despite the continuing violence after the U.S.-led invasion of the country.

"It's not a country at civil war. The majority of people in Iraq don't want this violence," he said.

"They don't want to go to war with each other. Small numbers of extremists on either side who don't represent the majority are trying to provoke people into a civil war. That's a completely different thing," he noted.

Britain, Washington's staunchest ally in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, deploys the second largest number of troops, after the United States, in the violence-plagued country.

Currently, Britain has some 7,100 troops in southern Iraq, most in the Basra area and about 800 in Maysan province. Since 2003, there have been 132 British soldiers killed in Iraq.

Last month, Blair announced a plan to cut the British troops in Iraq to 5,500 from 7,100 in the coming few months.

Blair said that situation in Basra is very different from that in Baghdad and that Basra's security could now be safeguarded by Iraqis themselves.

Source: Xinhua

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