Desmond Tutu refuses to attend seminar with Blair over 'morally indefensible' support for Iraq war
London, Aug 29 (ANI): Nobel laureate and icon of the anti-apartheid struggle Archbishop Desmond Tutu has pulled out of a seminar in South Africa because he refused to share a platform with former British prime minister Tony Blair.
Archbishop Tutu said it would be 'inappropriate' for him to attend the event due to Blair's 'morally indefensible' support for the Iraq war.
"The archbishop is of the view that Blair's decision to support the United States' military invasion of Iraq, on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, was morally indefensible," a spokesman for the Archbishop, Roger Friedman, said.
"Morality and leadership are indivisible. In this context, it would be inappropriate and untenable for the archbishop to share a platform with Mr Blair," he added.
Archbishop Tutu's withdrawal comes as local Muslim party Al Jama-ah threatened to arrest Blair for 'crimes against humanity' over his involvement in the 2003 invasion, the Daily Mail reports.
Blair was due to attend the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit along with chess grandmaster and opposition Russian politician Garry Kasparov, and former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy.
The paper quoted a spokesman for Archbishop Tutu, as saying that the withdrawal was not a snap decision.
He said Tutu is 'a very prayerful man' who will have 'spent hours on his knees considering this decision'.
"He thinks and prays and then acts. That's how he's always done things, including during the struggles," the spokesman said. (ANI)
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