US President George W Bush, now on the Britain leg of his farewell tour of Europe, has reiterated that the Iraq invasion was "the right thing" to get rid of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Bush said on Sunday the US invasion was "the right thing to do" despite the death of many innocent civilians.
"When anybody dies in a war, of course it weighs on my conscience... On the other hand... getting rid of Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do and I'm not going to back off one inch on that," said Bush, who arrived in London Sunday afternoon for a two-day visit.
"The world is better off without him and I'm sorry that innocent civilians died in Iraq but I want you to remember, hundreds of thousands died when Saddam Hussein was leading that country," he said.
"War is brutal, I wish we didn't have war, but I believe we're now on the way to peace," said Bush.
Bush also defended the war on Afghanistan. "It matters for our own security as we learnt on Sep 11, it also matters from a humanitarian perspective," he said.
When asked whether he worried about his popularity, Bush said sticking to his principles was more important than poll results.
"Popularity is fleeting and I want it to be said about George W Bush that when he finished his presidency he looked in the mirror and (saw) a man who did not compromise his core principles for the sake of politics or the Gallup poll, or the latest whatever, and you can't lead in this world if you chase something as temporary as a popularity poll," he said.