Bush meets King Abdullah, apologizes for abuse of Iraqi prisoners as Rumsfeld expected to do the same
President Bush apologized Thursday for the abuse and humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by American troops, saying it had made Americans "sick to our stomachs."
A day after he stopped short of apologizing, Bush told Jordan's King Abdullah II: "I was sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners and the humiliation suffered by their families.
"I told him I was as equally sorry that people seeing those pictures didn't understand the true nature and heart of America," Bush said.
Bush said he told the king: "Americans like me didn't appreciate what we saw, and it makes us sick to our stomachs.
"I also made it clear to his majesty that the troops we have in Iraq who were there for security and peace and freedom are the finest of the fine."
For his part, the Jordanian monarch said, "We're all horrified by the images" of torture and abuse.
He said he was confident that American investigations would find the guilty parties. The abuse by some soldiers "doesn't reflect the morals and values" of the United States, Abdullah said.
Regarding the Palestinian issue, Bush urged Israel to withdraw from the territory it has occupied since the 1967 war.
According to CNN, a senior Republican aide has said the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is also expected to apologize to Congress and the American people for the horrific Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal and for also keeping the governemnt out of the loop as the events unfolded.
Bush said that all issues between Israels and Palestinians must be negotiated against the backdrop of U.N. Security Council resolutions from 1967 and 1973 that called on Israel to withdraw from occupied lands.
"The United States will not prejudice the outcome of those negotiations," Bush said.
Abdullah said Israel must withdraw to the borders it held before the 1967 war. "All final status issues should be a matter for the parties to decide," Abdullah said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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