Iraqi No 2 raps US, opens door to France
MADRID, Sept 9 (AFP) - Irak's vice president took a swipe the United States in an interview published Thursday, saying that the US "does not understand Arab culture or customs" and that it "came into Iraq like an elephant astride its war machine."
The Americans “committed mistakes such as dissolving the army and leaving the borders open,” Ibrahim Al-Jaafari also said in the interview with Spanish daily El Pais. Jaafari, a leader of moderate Shiite party Al-Dawa, was conciliatory toward France in his remarks. He acknowledged the French government’s opposition to the US invasion of Iraq, but hoped “to open a new chapter and to mutually reap political and economic benefits.”
Iraqi President Ghawi al-Yaour postponed last week a trip to France set for September 6-7 – part of a European diplomatic tour – after two French journalists were taken hostage in Iraq.
Al-Yaour arrived on Thursday in Germany where he will hold talks with his German counterpart Horst Koehler and meet Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and at least two cabinet ministers.
Subject: French News