[Media-watch] Blair remark on Saddam is revealed - Gulf Daily News [Bahrain] - 12/10/2004

Julie-ann Davies jadavies2004 at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Oct 12 19:23:27 BST 2004

Vol XXVII   NO. 206      Tuesday      12 October 2004
 Blair remark on Saddam is revealed

SINGAPORE: Malaysia's former leader claimed yesterday that British Prime 
Minister Tony Blair had told him that ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein 
had to be removed from power because the US-led coalition was unwilling to 
wait for him to die naturally.

Mahathir Mohamad, a fierce critic of the war in Iraq, said he spoke with the 
British leader before the US-led invasion of the country, adding that he 
urged Blair to be patient and wait for Hussein, 67, to die.

"But Blair said, 'Well Saddam Hussein is too young. He's not going to die 
soon enough,"' Mahathir said in a speech delivered in Singapore.

In London, a Downing Street spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, 
had no immediate comment on Mahathir's claim, though he said of Blair's 
alleged remark: "I don't recognise it as you describe it."

Mahathir didn't give further details about his conversation with Blair.

His comments came as a new AP poll showed nearly two-thirds of people in 
Britain disapprove of how Blair's government has been handling the war on 

The poll also revealed that three-fourths of Britons say they believe 
military action in Iraq has increased the threat of terrorism.

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