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    A British army soldier walks past Iraqi army tanks during a training mission in Latifiyah, 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq

    Bush-Blair Notes Key Reason for Delaying Report Into UK Role in Iraq War

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    The inquiry seeks to uncover the operations of the United Kingdom in the Iraq War, including British policies and military action. The key delay is caused by a dispute over the publication of correspondence between Blair and Bush, the inquiry chairman said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Sir John Chilcot, who chairs an inquiry into Britain's role in the Iraq War, said Wednesday the publication of the report was significantly delayed over the declassification of conversations between then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US President George W. Bush.

    The inquiry panel, which started work in 2009, had to analyze some 150,000 government documents covering a nine-year period, Chilcot told parliamentarians while giving evidence on delays in the preparation of the report.

    The key delay was caused by a dispute over the publication of correspondence between Blair and Bush, the inquiry chairman said, adding that it took 13 months to reach a conclusion in September 2013.

    Chilcot added that publication of the report was also stalled because of the scope and complexity of the inquiry.

    The current inquiry seeks to uncover the operations of the United Kingdom in the Iraq War, including British policies and military action.

    The inquiry report, known as the Chilcot report, was to be published by the end of 2014, but according to UK Cabinet Office Minister Lord Wallace, the government had decided it would be inappropriate to publish the report prior to the UK general election in May.

    On January 7, Prime Minister David Cameron described the delay in publishing the Chilcot report as "immensely frustrating" and said that it was not in his power to grant its publication.

    The invasion of Iraq in 2003 aimed to eliminate weapons of mass destruction believed to have been held by the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The war claimed the lives of more than 100,000 civilians between 2003 and 2011, according to the Iraq Body Count database.

    Related:

    Time Running out for Tony Blair to Avoid War Crimes Charges over Iraq
    Chilcot in the Cooler: Is Inquiry into Iraq War Doomed?
    Delay in Releasing Report on UK's Role in Iraq War ‘Immensely Frustrating’
    Tags:
    investigation, Iraqi war, John Chilcot, George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Iraq, Britain, United States
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