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Mandela to snub Bush during visit

Johannesburg, June 27 (Reuters): Former South African President Nelson Mandela condemned George W. Bush’s war on Iraq today and said he might not meet the US President when he makes his first visit to Africa next month.

Mandela, who received a Nobel Peace prize for his role in guiding South Africa from apartheid to multi-racial democracy, said Bush was wrong to circumvent the UN and overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein by force.

“Since the creation of the UN there has not been a World War since 1945. Therefore for anybody, especially the leader of a superstate, to act outside the UN is something that must be condemned by everybody who wants peace,” Mandela told reporters after a meeting French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin.

“For any country to leave the UN and attack an independent country must be condemned in the strongest terms and I am very happy by the attitude taken by (French) President Jacques Chirac.”

Chirac led opposition to the Iraq war, vowing to veto any US-backed UN resolution authorising an attack on Iraq and rallying German and Russian opposition to Bush’s plans.

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