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Blair Defends Decision to Join War in Iraq


British Prime Minister Tony Blair has vigorously defended his decision to go to war in Iraq and said he would make the same decision again.

The war in Iraq is dividing Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labor party down the middle, and it was a central theme of his keynote speech to the Labor party's annual conference on the southern English coast. He told the party delegates that, if he had to, he would make the same decision again.

Mr. Blair, whose popularity is plummeting, acknowledged his decision to go to war was not easy, but made no apologies.

"There was no easy choice and whatever each of us thought, let us agree no this, we who started the war must finish the peace," he said.

The British prime minister said the world is now a safer place with Saddam Hussein out of power.

New polls this week show Mr. Blair's approval rating at its lowest level since he took office six and a half years ago. And 41 percent of members of his Labor party want him to resign before the next general election.

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