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Tony Blair statement on Chilcot inquiry

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By Euronews
Tony Blair statement on Chilcot inquiry

<p><em>The following statement was published by Tony Blair following the publication of the Chilcot report into the war in Iraq:</em></p> <p>“The report should lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit. Whether people agree or disagree with my decision to take military action against Saddam Hussein; I took it in good faith and in what I believed to be the best interests of the country.</p> <p>I note that the report finds clearly:</p> <p>- That there was no falsification or improper use of Intelligence (para 876 vol 4)</p> <p>- No deception of Cabinet (para 953 vol 5)</p> <p>- No secret commitment to war whether at Crawford Texas in April 2002 or elsewhere (para 572 onwards vol 1)</p> <p>The inquiry does not make a finding on the legal basis for military action but finds that the Attorney General had concluded there was such a lawful basis by 13th March 2003 (para 933 vol 5)</p> <p>However the report does make real and material criticisms of preparation, planning, process and of the relationship with the United States.</p> <p>These are serious criticisms and they require serious answers.</p> <p>I will respond in detail to them later this afternoon.</p> <p>I will take full responsibility for any mistakes without exception or excuse.</p> <p>I will at the same time say why, nonetheless, I believe that it was better to remove Saddam Hussein and why I do not believe this is the cause of the terrorism we see today whether in the Middle East or elsewhere in the world.</p> <p>Above all I will pay tribute to our Armed Forces. I will express my profound regret at the loss of life and the grief it has caused the families, and I will set out the lessons I believe future leaders can learn from my experience.”</p>