Iraq war has caused bitterness and resentment, says British foreign secretary

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David Miliband has offered a stark appraisal of the Iraq war, saying the invasion had damaged Britain's standing by causing"bitterness, distrust and resentment" across the Muslim world.

The Foreign Secretary mentioned the Iraq conflict in the same breath as the Crusades and 20th century imperialism as he delivered a strikingly self-critical speech.

Addressing the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Mr Miliband called British history"baggage that we have to acknowledge" and accepted the truth of Muslim grievances against the West. These were"perceived to keep Muslims down – and in fact do", he said.

As for Britain's past, the Foreign Secretary said:"It is as well to be clear about the prejudices that British history generates, not just in Muslim majority countries, but elsewhere too. Decisions taken many years ago in King Charles Street are still felt on the landscape of the Middle East and South Asia. Ruined Crusader castles remain as poignant monuments to the religious violence of the Middle Ages."

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