Jimmy Carter blasts Blair for "subservience" to Bush

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Former US President Jimmy Carter

Former US President Jimmy Carter has accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair of contributing to the crisis in Iraq through lack of leadership and subservience to current US President George W. Bush.

"I have been surprised and extremely disappointed by Tony Blair's behaviour," said Carter in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.

"I think that more than any other person in the world the Prime Minister could have had a moderating influence on Washington - and he has not. I really thought that Tony Blair, who I know personally to some degree, would be a constraint on President Bush's policies towards Iraq."

Carter also said the invasion of Iraq had strengthened al-Qaeda and undermined the war on terrorism.

"In many countries where I meet with leaders and private citizens there is an equating of American policy with Great Britain - with Great Britain obviously playing the lesser role."

"We now have a situation where America is so unpopular overseas that even in countries like Egypt and Jordan our approval ratings are less than five per cent. It's a shameful and pitiful state of affairs and I hold your British Prime Minister to be substantially responsible for being so compliant and subservient," said Carter, 81.