Iraq not on verge of civil war: Jack Straw | india | Hindustan Times
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Iraq not on verge of civil war: Jack Straw

Iraq is suffering "terrible carnage" but is not on the verge of civil war as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Sunday.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2006 18:38 IST
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Iraq is suffering "terrible carnage" but is not on the verge of civil war as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Sunday.

Straw, who visited Baghdad last week with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said Britain was deeply frustrated with the failure of Iraqi politicians to agree on the shape of a new government nearly four months after national elections.

"I don't deny for a minute that there's terrible carnage. Why I hesitate about saying there's civil war because we're on the verge of seeing the beginning of a democratic and permanent government there," Straw told BBC television.

"It is a high level of slaughter, so I understand why people are saying this," Straw said. "I also say that most people, most of the leaders in Iraq take a different view from President Mubarak."

Mubarak warned in a far-reaching interview with the Arab channel Al-Arabiya yesterday that civil war was imminent in Iraq.

"At the moment, Iraq is almost close to destruction," Mubarak said.

Straw said Iraq would likely end up with a Shiite-dominated government, but that it would be composed of leaders who saw themselves as Iraqis first.

He said that during their April 2-3 visit to Baghdad, he and Rice had pushed Iraqi politicians to reach agreement.

"It's very frustrating because the leaders are taking far too long to form this government," he said.