British Prime Minister Tony Blair has defended his support for American policy on Iraq, saying the alliance with the United States is "massively" important to Britain.
Mr. Blair told 150 British ambassadors meeting today (Tuesday) in London Iraq must be rid of any weapons of mass destruction. He said if rogue states are allowed to develop such weapons, it is only a matter of time before they fall into the hands of terrorists. The British leader said if that happens, the world would, in his words, "rue the consequences of our weakness."
He said the United States should not be forced to act alone in dealing with Iraq and suggested that any action should be taken through the United Nations.
He added that Britain must cooperate with America to retain its international influence. Mr. Blair said he hopes to use that influence to persuade the United States to broaden its policy agenda.
He said many in the international community feel the United States is not responsive enough to other issues, such as world poverty, global warming and the situation in the Middle East. He said U-S allies are glad to listen to Washington but want the United States to listen to them in return.