Britain's Prince Andrew rebukes US for "not listening" over Iraq

Other News Materials 5 February 2008 12:28 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - A leading member of Britain's royal family has criticized the United States for "not listening" to London when it came to the invasion of Iraq and its consequences.

In a highly unusual move, Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, directly criticized the US administration of George W Bush.

He said the consequences of the Iraq war had led to a "healthy scepticism" towards what was said in Washington and a feeling of "why didn't anyone listen to what was said and the advice that was given?"

The Prince, who is fourth in line to the throne, made the comments in an interview with the International Herald Tribune on the eve of a 10-day trip to the US to promote British business.

The 47-year-old prince said the US was Britain's number one ally, but added there were "occasions when people in the UK would wish that those in responsible positions in the US might listen and learn from our experiences."

Court officials said Tuesday the remarks represented a "thoughtful appraisal" which the prince stood by.

Andrew told the newspaper that because of its imperial history, Britain had experienced much of what the US was going through.

"If you are looking at colonialism, if you are looking at operations on an international scale, if you are looking at understanding each other's culture, understanding how to operate in a military insurgency campaign - we have been through them all," he said.

"We've won some, lost some, drawn some. The fact is there is quite a lot of experience over here which is valid and should be listened to."

The prince, who fought as a helicopter pilot in the 1982 Falklands conflict, said the experience had changed him "out of all recognition" and left him with a "different view of life."