LONDON - British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush are planning to make a joint trip to Baghdad in a bid to quell the spiralling scandal over prisoner abuse, the British Sunday Mirror tabloid reported.
Two anti-globalisation activists wearing British Prime minister Tony Blair (R) and US President George W. Bush (C) mask crush an inflatable globe during a demonstration in Geneva. Blair and Bush are planning to make a joint trip to Baghdad in a bid to quell the spiralling scandal over prisoner abuse, the British Sunday Mirror tabloid reported. (AFP/File/Thomas Coex)
A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment on the report Sunday, saying only that the two allies in the war in Iraq talk "every day."
Bush and Blair will travel to the Iraqi capital in separate planes, escorted by fighter jets, said the Sunday Mirror, the weekly version of the Daily Mirror, which was forced Friday to offer an abject apology for publishing fake photographs purporting to show British soldiers humiliating an Iraqi prisoner.
The Sunday Mirror report came as the scandal over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US and British forces continued to widen.
The paper, which gave no sources, said Bush and Blair "will try to reassure the people that the West condemns the actions of 'rogue' troops and that those found guilty will be punished."
Blair made a surprise visit to British troops in southern Iraq in early January, a few weeks after Bush spent two hours at Baghdad's airport to share Thanksgiving dinner with 600 US soldiers in late November.
On Friday several coalition partners led by the United States and Britain vowed to leave Iraq if the Iraqi administration that takes over on the scheduled June 30 handover date asked them to leave, while indicating that they thought such a demand unlikely.
The possibility was mooted during a meeting of Group of Eight (G8) foreign ministers in Washington, shortly after the US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, made similar remarks in Baghdad.
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