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Fri Oct 7, 1:42 AM ET
Bush claimed God told him to invade Iraq, Afghanistan: BBC
LONDON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush allegedly said God told him to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, a new BBC documentary will reveal, according to details released here.
Bush made the claim when he met Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and then foreign minister Nabil Shaath in June 2003, the ministers told the documentary series to be broadcast in Britain later this month.
The US leader also told them he had been ordered by God to create a Palestinian state, the ministers said Friday.
Shaath, now the Palestinian information minister, said: " President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God.
'God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan'.'
"And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq...' And I did.
"'And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.' And by God I'm gonna do it'," said Shaath.
Abbas, who was also at the meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, recalled how the president told him: "I have a moral and religious obligation.
"So I will get you a Palestinian state."
A BBC spokesman said the content of the programme had been put to the White House but it had refused to comment on a private conversation.
The three-part series, "Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs", charts the attempts to bring peace to the Middle East, from former US president Bill Clinton's peace talks in 1999-2000 to Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza strip.
The programme speaks to presidents and prime ministers, their generals and ministers, about what happened behind closed doors as the peace talks failed and the intifada grew.
The series is due to be screened in Britain on October 10, 17 and 24.