Rice denies scandal has undermined US presence | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Rice denies scandal has undermined US presence

PTI | ByAFP, Berlin
May 17, 2004 06:04 PM IST

US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice denied the abuse of Iraqis had undermined America's moral authority.

US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice denied today that the abuse of Iraqi prisoners had undermined America's moral authority in the Arab world and pledged US forces would remain in Iraq until they "finish the job" they were sent to do.

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In separate interviews with German media on the eve of talks with Palestinian premier Ahmed Qorei in Berlin, Rice also said that the United States was ready and able to serve as a "broker for peace" between Israel and the Palestinians.

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Speaking with German television about the impact the images of humiliated and tortured Iraqis in American custody had had on the US image worldwide, Rice replied: "I simply don't accept that America has lost moral authority."

She said that the United States, as opposed to despotic regimes that used torture as a matter of course, was launching a full and public investigation into the abuses.

Rice told the daily Tagesspiegel in an advance copy of its tomorrow's edition that the United States planned to stay in Iraq until was stable enough and had the institutions to stand alone.

"We will stay there until we finish the job, until Iraqis can insure their own security," Rice said, in remarks translated back into English.

Her comments appeared to dismiss suggestions, notably by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, that US-led troops would leave Iraq early if the new Iraqi government due to take power on June 30 asks them to do so.

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