Jul 9, 2016
The file photo shows a view of the Egyptian parliament.
Egyptian lawmakers have called for former British prime minister Tony Blair and ex-US president George W. Bush to be put on trial for war crimes as a newly released report challenged the legality of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.
The Egyptian parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs made the request in a statement released on Friday, two days after Sir John Chilcot’s long-awaited report of his inquiry into the UK’s participation in the Iraq war found that the military intervention was based on flawed intelligence.
The Chilcot report “has exposed the false reasons which … Bush and … Blair had exploited to wage their illegitimate war against Iraq,” the statement read, adding that the war on Iraq left over one million people dead and millions more injured and displaced.
Bush and Blair “should be put on trial as war criminals not only because they are the ones who trumpeted the reasons for this war, but also because they should be held responsible for the deaths of millions of Iraqis since 2003,” the statement added.
The 6,000-page Chilcot report concluded on Wednesday that London joined the US-led invasion of Iraq before diplomatic options were exhausted.
There was “no imminent threat from [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein” in March 2003 and military action was “not a last resort,” it added.
Britain’s then prime minister Tony Blair meets UK troops in Umm Qasr, Iraq, May 29, 2003. ©Reuters
Elsewhere in their statement, the Egyptian MPs said “Bush committed his crimes in Iraq amid silence” in the US, a self-proclaimed flag bearer of democracy and human rights.
They also noted that the Chicot report exposed the ceaseless Western plots against the Arab, the Persian Gulf and the Middle Eastern countries.
“These conspiracies aim at plundering the riches of this region, enslaving its peoples and plunging them into constant troubles,” the statement read.
The Egyptian lawmakers further recommended that the Arab League and the upcoming 27th Arab summit issue strong statements against Western military interventions in the Arab World and to press the United Nations to adopt this principle.
In early 2003, the US, strongly backed by the UK, invaded Iraq under the pretext that the regime of Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons, however, were ever found in Iraq.
More than one million Iraqis were killed as a result of the invasion, and subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.