British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent Thursday evening a personal message to the Iraqi people and Saddam Hussein in a direct broadcast to Iraq. Blair recorded an interview with Radio Monte Carlo, the most popular radio station broadcasting into Iraq.
"The Prime Minister took the opportunity to speak directly to Saddam, to the Iraqi people and the wider Arab world," said Blair's official spokesman, according to British media reports.
According to a transcript of the broadcast released by Blair's office, he said "One of the reasons I wanted to speak to you today is to communicate with people directly, because what happens in a situation like this is that there are myths that grow up."
"He stressed this was not about oil or religion. It was about weapons of mass destruction and said Saddam's duty is to co-operate with the United Nations, but the choice is his. He could disarm peacefully or by force," added Blair's spokesman.
"The Prime Minister went on to note the suffering of the Iraqi people, saying their talents and skill and their country's natural resources, mean it should be a prosperous country and that standards of living in Iraq would be far higher if Saddam were not spending money on weapons of mass destruction and presidential palaces.
"The Prime Minister recalled the excellent relations there used to be between our two countries and said he wanted to get back to that good bilateral relationship.
"He also set out the UK's position on the situation in the Middle East, stressing our determination to work for a solution giving Israel security alongside a viable Palestinian state." (Albawaba.com)
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