Mubarak warned US not to invade Iraq: US cable
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Last Updated: Friday, February 11, 2011, 00:52
  
London: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had warned the US not to invade Iraq for "you won’t be able to get out", but Washington had refused to heed his advice, according to a secret US diplomatic cable.

"Mubarak said that when President Bush Sr had called and asked what Mubarak thought about invading Iraq to get to rid of Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf war, Mubarak had told him not to because 'you won’t be able to get out and you will drown in Iraq,'" according to cables released by WikiLeaks.

Mubarak had told him not to because "you won't be able to get out and you will drown in Iraq, according to the Daily telegraph.

Mubarak also told Dick Cheney, the former US vice-president, "three or four times" not to depose Saddam Hussein, according to the cables.

"I told (Vice President) Cheney three or four times? that Iraq needed a strong leader and that it would be unwise to remove Saddam Hussein; doing so would only 'open the gate to Iran,'" Mubarak was quoted as saying in the secret document.

Unfortunately, he said, "the vice-president did not listen to his advice."

Mubarak said he had tried to convey the same message to the current administration, only to be ignored.

Mubarak complained that the Bush administration had pushed Egypt too hard to "open up" politically, the report said.

By ignoring his advice and invading Iraq, Mubarak warned that the Americans had managed to increase the threat posed by Iran.

Mubarak made the comments during a breakfast meeting with US congressmen at the presidential palace in Cairo in December, 2008.

He told one of the delegation, Sen Byron Dorgan, that the US needed to "listen to its friends" in the region.

"When George Bush Senior was president, 'he listened to my advice. But his son does not,'" he said, according to a the US cable sent on January 14, 2009.

Mubarak said he had tried to convey the same message to the current administration, only to be ignored.

"By making these mistakes, the US has empowered Iran, whose goal, according to Mubarak, is 'to control the entire region," the cable said.

He [Mubarak] added that Iran is waiting for the US to leave Iraq in order to 'fill the vacuum and emphasised that Iran is the source of funds for many extremist groups in the region, such as Hizbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the report.

PTI


First Published: Friday, February 11, 2011, 00:52


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