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Britain's Iraq inquiry to see parts of Blair-Bush letters

Published on May 29, 2014 11:05 PM

LONDON (AFP) - The British government agreed on Thursday to give extracts of letters from Tony Blair to George W. Bush to an inquiry into the Iraq war, overcoming the main hurdle to publication of the long-awaited report.

The probe will receive "gists and quotes" of communications from former prime minister Blair to ex-president Mr Bush in the run-up to the conflict in 2003, inquiry chief John Chilcot said in an official letter.

But Mr Bush's replies will not be included in the report, which is examining Britain's involvement in the war, Mr Chilcot said.

"I am pleased to record that we have now reached agreement on the principles that will underpin disclosure of... communications between the UK Prime Minister and the President of the United States," Mr Chilcot said in his letter to Jeremy Heywood, the British government's top civil servant. "These documents have raised difficult issues of long-standing principle," Mr Chilcot wrote.

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