Britain was keen to avoid Iraq war, according to former Foreign Secretary

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Britain was keen to avoid the 2003 war in Iraq, its foreign secretary at the time said Thursday, insisting ministers made the "best judgements" possible in the run-up to the invasion.

Jack Straw, the first serving Cabinet minister to give evidence to the public inquiry into the conflict, added that backing the war was "the most difficult decision I have ever faced in my life".

Straw, currently justice secretary in Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government, took the stand a week before his former boss Tony Blair's hotly anticipated appearance....

However, Straw also accepted that, from early 2002, "there was no secret whatever" that US military action against Iraq backed by Britain "was a possibility".

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