Iraq

The bravery and sacrifice of British troops

The Iraqi people, via their democratically elected President, thank the British people and the troops who put their lives on the line for the freedom of the Iraqi people:

The Iraqi people now have the right to build their own freedom and are deeply grateful to British prime ministers Sir John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, for their assistance.

At the time, I and other leaders of the Iraqi opposition asked Mr Blair’s government to help the Iraqi people get rid of the dictatorship. And we praise the bravery and sacrifice of British troops.

We suffered under Saddam Hussein in ways that too many in the international community seem to have forgotten. His regime was a republic of fear, which slaughtered Iraqis on an industrial scale and attacked our neighbours. We are fortunate he has gone and that we have a chance to rebuild our society.

Iraq is one of the historical founts of modern civilisation. Our tragedy is that Saddam pillaged our potential for his own purposes.

Now that he is gone we have a great opportunity to overcome our isolation from decades of modernity and to rebuild our links with the international community. Our second parliamentary elections, on 7 March, will provide an opportunity to consolidate our growing democracy and further isolate those who use the bomb and the gun against the will of our own people.

We, as a people, have a great regard for and affection towards the British and we are seeking deep, broad and long-term relationships with your politicians, academics, sporting groups and businesses.

We are a potentially rich country but our legacy is a poor one. We value the ability of British business to unlock our resources through increased investment and by trading with us. Iraq is becoming increasingly open to commerce, which is a means of giving our people the better way of life that they seek and deserve.

It would also be in Britain’s interest to continue its relationship with us. We are proud to be your friends and hope that you will always be our friends, working together for the common good of humanity.

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