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Iraq invasion a terrible mistake: Carter

October 27, 2006 21:17 IST

The Bush administration's policy on Iraq came under severe attack on Friday from former President Jimmy Carter who termed the US 'invasion' in that country as a 'terrible mistake.'

On a visit to India, he said the US government should fulfill its commitment to withdraw from Iraq although not immediately and suggested that a conference of nations concerned with the future of the Arab country be called to discuss the matter.

"It was a terrible mistake," Carter told a select group of reporters in New Delhi when referred to the US action in Iraq.

The 'invasion' on Iraq interrupted the global campaign against terrorism started rightly in Afghanistan, said Carter who is India in connection with a project to build houses

for poor in Maharashtra.

The 'erroneous' decision to go into Iraq had made the US allies to say that threat to them has increased and not decreased after the action in the Iraq, he said.

After 9/11, he said the US did the right thing by getting into Afghanistan to root out Al Qaeda and Taliban, in an effort to address the international community's concerns with regard to global terrorism. But by going into Iraq, the US lost support, he said, adding that the experience has taught a lesson that the US cannot impose its system and policies on any country.

On the suggestions for US pullout from Iraq, he said he did 'not think immediate withrawal will be advisable' although he would want to see Washington fulfill its commitment to get out.

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