Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

World leaders welcome, condemn Saddam Hussein's execution

World leaders welcome, condemn Saddam Hussein's execution

World political and religious leaders were divided over whether former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's execution Saturday was a milestone toward peace or further conflict in the Middle East.
In Washington, U.S. President George W. Bush said Saddam was executed "after receiving a fair trial _ the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime."
"Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain and defend itself, and be an ally in the war on terror," Bush said in a statement.
His sentiments were echoed by Australia, a U.S. ally along with Britain in the 2003 invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam's regime.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said the execution was significant because Iraqis had given the brutal dictator a fair trial.
"I believe there is something quite heroic about a country that is going through the pain and the suffering that Iraq is going through, yet still extends due process to somebody who was a tyrant and brutal suppressor and murderer of his people," Howard told reporters.
"That is the mark of a country that is trying against fearful odds to embrace democracy," he said.
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer described the execution as an important step in a process of reconciliation.
But the opposition Labor Party, which opposed the Iraq invasion, expressed doubt that "it will in any way reduce sectarian and political violence in Iraq, which has already brought that country to the brink of civil war."
India said it also feared the execution could trigger more sectarian violence.
"We had already expressed the hope that the execution would not be carried out. We are disappointed that it has been," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a statement.
"We hope that this unfortunate event will not affect the process of reconciliation, restoration of peace and normalcy in Iraq," he added.
Former Indian foreign minister Natwar Singh, who was forced from office in 2005 over his alleged involvement in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal in Iraq, said the execution would lead to increased tension in the Middle East.
"It will have a very adverse impact on the region for decades to come," he told CNN-IBN news channel.
In Pakistan, an Islamic ally in the U.S.-led war on terror, a leader of a coalition of six religious parties said Saddam had not received justice.
"We have no sympathy with Saddam Hussein, but we will also say that he did not get justice," Liaquat Baluch, a leader of the Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal, also known as the United Action Forum, told The Associated Press by phone.
"The execution of Saddam Hussein will further destabilize Iraq. There will be more sectarian violence in Iraq, and we believe that the execution of Saddam Hussein is part of the American plan to disintegrate Iraq," he added.
In Sri Lanka, a Muslim government minister also condemned the execution for offending Muslims around the start of Eid al-Adha, the Islamic world's largest holiday, marking the end of the hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.
"As a Muslim, I feel the execution could have been avoided," said Hussein Bhaila, who declined to comment on the judgment against the former dictator.
Former Thai Foreign Minister Surin Pinsuwan, a Muslim, said he expected the execution would increase tension in the war on terror because of Saddam's many followers.
In Sydney, scores of Iraqi-Australians _ many of them refugees who fled Saddam's brutality _ celebrated throughout the day in the main street of suburban Auburn.
Many danced and cheered: "Saddam Hussein is dead; Saddam Hussein has gone to hell," media reported.


Updated : 2021-05-18 16:14 GMT+08:00