|A defiant Bush insists his war |
On the second day of his whistle-stop five nation trip through Africa, Bush stubbornly defended the decision to go to war.
However, he refused to answer questions about the recent White House admission that Washington had indeed overstated Iraq’s efforts to obtain uranium.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the world peace and there is no doubt in my mind that United States along with our allies and friends did the right thing in removing him from power,” Bush told reporters.
“I am absolutely confident in the decision I made,” he asserted.
Having reached South Africa from Senegal late on Tuesday, the US President also turned the heat on his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe and stressed the ‘country must return to democracy.’
Bush discussed the festering political crisis in Zimbabwe at a meeting with the South African President Thabo Mbeki.
Other issues that came up in the meeting included the scourge of AIDS, trade and the Liberian crisis.
“In Zimbabwe I have encouraged President Mbeki and his government to continue to work for the return of democracy in the country,” Bush said at a joint news conference in Pretoria.
Though Mbeki agreed instantly, saying he and Bush were ‘absolutely of one mind’ about how to deal with Zimbabwe, the South African president stressed the ‘principal responsibility for the resolution of the problem rested with the people of Zimbabwe.’
Mugabe has been in the eye of a gathering international storm over alleged political repression and economic mismanagement in the country.
Bush leaves South Africa for Botswana on Thursday. He would then visit Uganda and Nigeria before wrapping up his five day tour on Saturday.