'get rid of mugabe'

BERLIN - Tony Blair believes that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe should be overthrown, a German magazine quoted the former British prime minister as saying in an interview published yesterday.

BERLIN - Tony Blair believes that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe should be overthrown, a German magazine quoted the former British prime minister as saying in an interview published yesterday.

"I think if you can get rid of Mugabe, get rid of him. The guy has destroyed his country. There are many people in his country who have died who should not have died. If you can, you should, but you obviously have to operate in careful limits," Blair told the Stern weekly.

Blair also rejected criticism that his closeness to the US and Israel made him unsuitable for his current job as envoy for the Middle East Quartet, mediating between the Jewish state and the Palestinians.

"I remember Palestinian Authority President (Mahmud) Abbas. I said to him it might be a disadvantage because of my closeness to America and my strong views on Israel, and he said: 'That is why you are useful.'"

Blair said he had no regrets about toppling Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. - Sapa-AFP

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