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Blair: No 'cut and run' from Iraq


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Blair: Sticking with the task.
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ANKARA, Turkey (CNN) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair has ruled out any "quick exit" from Iraq and vowed to keep British troops there until stability is restored.

"We are not going to have any so-called quick exit, there will be no cutting and running. We will continue until the job is done," he told a news conference in Ankara after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

Blair said he will would not be diminished after the killing of the U.S.-appointed president of the Iraqi Governing Council in an apparent suicide bombing in Baghdad. (Full story)

Standing alongside Blair at the news conference, Erdogan voiced concern about human rights violations by coalition troops.

Speaking through an interpreter, he told the press conference: "When we consider the latest developments, we cannot consider the situation to be going in a positive direction.

"I'm sure that the latest photographs that were published both create concerns among the Turkish public and among the British public.

"And there is no way to advocate for such kind of things."

Erdogan continued: "But we do also believe that certain steps need to be taken in order to create democracy in the fastest manner possible in Iraq.

"Right at the moment there is a major problem in Iraq. As Turkey, up until now, we have provided as much humanitarian assistance as possible, and we will continue to do so.

"It is our wish and will that as soon as possible all of those problems will be overcome and the democratic republic of Iraq will be established and the Iraqi people will take their place on the world's platforms as soon as possible."

Meanwhile, Blair told reporters that Britain wants Turkey to join the European Union and would like to see accession talks begin later this year.

Blair arrived in Turkey on Monday amid security fears heightened by four small bomb explosions in front of four Turkish branches of a London-based bank. (Full report)


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