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The National Security Archive at George Washington University

CONSORTIUM NEWS - Edited by Robert Parry


March 15, 2003

US Ambassador Tells Turkey We'll Be in Iraq 'for 20 Years'

US to stay in Iraq '20-25 years': US envoy (3/14/03 - Malaysiakini via MGG Pillai)

During a recent dinner party, the US ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson told that country's justice minister and six members of parliament that the US would stay in Iraq "for twenty years." He also a spoke explicitly of US plans to "reorganize" the Middle East.

Pearson's dinner was Tues., March 11. The next night, Turkish channel ATV reported that, in response to questions from the Turkish MPs, Pearson said that the US would stay in Iraq "for twenty years" to "ensure the peace."

But the following day (Thursday, March 13) the daily newspaper Sabah expanded further on Pearson's comments, quoting him as telling the MPs: "Whether Saddam goes or stays, whether the UN gives the US a decision or not, there will be a military action... There is no culture of democracy in this region. Our plans to reorganise the region cannot be accomplished in five years. [Empahsis added.] It cannot be accomplished in ten years. We will stay in the region twenty-to-twenty-five years."

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