Britain’s finance minister Gordon Brown has made his first trip to Iraq. As the favourite to succeed the Prime Minister, Brown’s surprise visit has been seen as a bid to boost his leadership credentials. During the Iraqi stop-over he pledged financial support to rebuid the war ravaged country:
“We can provide a 100 million pounds over the next few years for the reconstruction work of the economic reform programme to give people jobs in the area. And we will continue to do what is needed to ensure security.”
Brown met UK troops stationed near the southern town of Basra and praised their morale and the work they were accomplishing in difficult circumstances.
The finance minister left behind a storm of controversy brewing in the UK over the prime minister’s comments in an interview where Tony Blair appeared to agree that the war in Iraq had so far been a disaster.