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Harper revokes support for Iraq war

world Updated: Oct 03, 2008 09:46 IST

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday suddenly reversed his once fierce support for the US invasion of Iraq, saying it was "absolutely an error."

"Let's be clear. It was an absolutely an error," Harper said under fire from rivals in a televised political debate ahead of October 14 elections.

"It's obviously clear the evaluation of weapons of mass destruction proved not to be correct," he said. "That's why we're not sending anybody to Iraq."

In March 2003, Harper, then in opposition, delivered a speech in parliament in support of the US-led Iraq war.

He became embroiled this week in a row about plagiarism after his former speech writer admitted to copying almost half of it from a speech delivered by Australia's former leader John Howard two days earlier.

In 2003, Canada's then Liberal government refused Bush's request to support its Iraq invasion, but supported the US incursion in Afghanistan.

Canadians have not been surveyed on the Iraq war of late, but most were opposed to the Iraq invasion at the time.