President Mubarak, Crown Prince Abdullah, speak on Iraq war

19 March 2003
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on 19 March criticised Saddam Hussein for bringing the region to the brink of war. In a televised address to the nation, he catalogued Iraqi mistakes which had led up to this 'dangerous stage,' stretching back to the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which he said had 'opened the door wide for intensive foreign presence in the region'. Baghdad was also blamed for not doing more to co-operate with the UN weapons inspections process, referring to 'the absence of any real Iraqi efforts to address the crisis of trust'. Efforts by some Arab League countries, Egypt among them, to persuade Saddam Hussein to go into exile and spare the Middle East from war were rebuffed.

The previous day, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah also gave a televised address on the impending war, saying that the kingdom would play no part in the US-led invasion and warning against any long-term US involvement in Iraqi affairs. 'The kingdom will under no circumstances take part in war against Iraq, and its armed forces will not enter an inch of Iraqi territory,' he said. 'We expect the war to end the moment UN Resolution 1441 to disarm [Iraq] of weapons of mass destruction has been implemented -We categorically refuse that the war affects Iraq's unity, independence, resources and internal security or Iraq comes under military occupation.'

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