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Chirac Says Iraq War Destabilized Entire Middle East


French President Jacques Chirac says the U.S-led invasion of Iraq has destabilized the entire Middle East and boosted the spread of terrorism.

In the latest in a series of speeches marking the New Year, Mr. Chirac Friday called the war in Iraq an American "adventure." He said it has increased divisions between Iraqi communities and undermined the integrity of the war-torn country.

The French president also renewed his call for an international conference on the Middle East peace process.

In separate speeches earlier this week, Mr. Chirac addressed the French economy and homelessness in his country.

Although widely seen as unlikely to run for a third term in this year's presidential elections, the 74-year-old president has not yet announced his intentions for the April balloting.