"This represents neither my views nor those of the State Department. I apologise," Alberto Fernandez, US state department director of public diplomacy in the Near Eastern Affairs bureau, said on Sunday.

Fernandez said he realised after reading the interview transcript that he "seriously misspoke" in using the phrase, "there has been arrogance and stupidity" by the United States in Iraq.

      

Fernandez, who gave an interview to Aljazeera Arabic television station in Arabic, said; "... there have been many mistakes in the [US] foreign policy in Iraq.

  

"We tried to do our best, but I believe that there is great room for strong criticism, because - undoubtedly - there was arrogance and stupidity in US [dealing] with Iraq."

  

Fernandez said in the interview that the United States was ready to talk with "those who care for Iraq" to end the civil strife raging there.

  

"We are open to dialogue. We all believe at the end of the day that the solution to the inferno in Iraq is completely linked to an effective national Iraqi reconciliation," Fernandez told Aljazeera.