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Blair: U.N. Resolution On Iraq Backed War
Friday, 21-Jan-2011 7:34AM AP
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United Press International Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told an inquiry panel he disregarded legal advice on the legality of the Iraq war without U.N. backing.

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Blair said he believed the U.N. Security Council resolution that spelled out support of military action, despite being given legal advice to the contrary, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Responding to more than 100 questions from the committee, Blair submitted a 26-page statement repeating points he made during his first appearance before the Iraq Inquiry panel into Britain's role in the Iraq war. The statement was released ahead of his appearance Friday before the inquiry panel.

Blair said he thought senior adviser Peter Goldsmith eventually would change his position once he knew the negotiations history behind the U.N. Security Council resolution that declared Iraq in "material breach" of its obligations to disarm.

Goldsmith told Blair in a Jan. 14, 2003, legal opinion the U.N. resolution alone didn't justify the use of force against Iraq.

"I had not yet got to the stage of a formal request for advice and neither had he got to the point of formally giving it", Blair said. "So I was continuing to hold to the position that another resolution was not necessary."

In late January 2003, Blair reportedly told former U.S. President George W. Bush he was "solidly" with the president after Bush said the bombing of Iraq was scheduled to begin in mid-March, the Telegraph said.

On March 7, 2003, Goldsmith presented Blair with formal legal advice a "reasonable case" could be made for launching an attack without further U.N. backing.

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