Iraqi Ambassador Visits Vermont

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(Host) The Iraqi ambassador to the United States is in the middle of a visit to Vermont.

Ambassador Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaida’ie is visiting Vermont as part of a series of events organized by the Vermont Council on World Affairs.

Speaking last night at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, the ambassador commented on how the 2002 invasion of Iraq compares to current military action in Libya. Ambassador Sumaida’ie says he supported both interventions, but says there are critical differences between Iraq and Libya:

(Sumaida’ie) "Iraq might have inspired some, and might have deterred some. Because the turmoil and chaos that followed the intervention in Iraq really made a lot of people stop and think. But all that happened in Iraq was an example of foreign intervention. When it is the people themselves, it is a different issue.  And we see now people are encouraged in the Arab countries to move against their tyrants. I think that is very encouraging."

(Host) During his talk Ambassador Sumaida’ie also thanked Vermont soldiers who served in Iraq. He said that, though the situation is Iraq is "not yet satisfying to everyone," that the Iraqi people are grateful for the "profound sacrifices" some soldiers made.

The ambassador will speak to legislators today at 1 p.m.. You can listen to his talk live by clicking on the stream from the Vermont House.

Click here to listen to the ambassador’s speech, at Saint Michael’s College on March 28, 2011.

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