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Polish leader: WMD never existed


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(CNN) -- Poland's president has said he believes there were never weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but it would be a mistake to abandon the country now.

The remarks on Thursday by President Aleksander Kwasniewski, a key U.S. ally in Europe, were the first by a Polish leader to raise doubts about the reasons for going to war.

But he defended the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam, saying it "made sense."

Poland has contributed troops to the U.S.-led coalition and has offered to expand its responsibilities if Spain carries out a threat to withdraw its troops.

"We were informed that weapons of mass destruction are in Iraq, that there is a probability of the existence of such weapons," The Associated Press quoted Kwasniewski as saying. "Today, this information is not confirmed."

U.S. President George W. Bush refused to comment on the report during a visit to Fort Campbell, Ky. -- home of the Army's 101st Airborne Division, one of the units that took part in the invasion of Iraq, which began a year ago Friday.

Bush argued that invasion was necessary because Iraq was concealing chemical and biological weapons, long-range missiles and a nuclear weapons program in violation of U.N. resolutions.

In January, David Kay -- the former head of the U.S. inspection team in Iraq -- said in January that his team found no evidence Iraq had stockpiled banned weapons.

However, Iraq's interim foreign minister, Hoshiyar Zebari, told CNN he was not yet ready to close the book on the matter.

"Saddam Hussein had so many ways to hide those weapons, to conceal them," Zebari said.

"And over the last decade or so, he played cat and mouse games with inspectors, with everybody else, and he and his regime have not denied that they had those weapons -- that they had developed them.

"I think there is some time to establish that truth and the full truth about the fate of these weapons."


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