30 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair says it is "vitally important" for U.S.-led coalition forces to remain in Iraq until, in his words, "the job is done" and insurgents and terrorists are defeated.
Blair, in an interview with AP, described the Iraq conflict as a "monumental battle" that affects Britain's security.
Blair said that if the United States, Britain, and its allies, including the Iraqi people, can defeat the insurgents and terrorists in Iraq, it will lead to the defeat terrorism and insurgency worldwide.
Blair said the insurgents can only be defeated with the help of the Iraqi people.
He said "every bad element in the whole of the Middle East" is in Iraq trying to stop the country from stabilizing and becoming a democracy.
Blair's comments came after U.S. President George W. Bush on 29 June pledged to keep U.S. forces in Iraq until the battle is won.
Bush Urges Patience With Iraq War