Bildt: Bush’s Iraq policy inadequate

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on Thursday criticised US President George Bush's new Iraq strategy for failing to tackle political issues in the violence-wracked country.

“(The speech) was significantly lighter on the major political challenges (in Iraq). They were mentioned only in passing or hardly at all,” Bildt told Swedish national radio SR.

Speaking by telephone from Madrid, Bildt stressed the importance of the distribution of Iraq’s oil wealth, the inclusion of different groups of the population in the political process and the engagement of Iraq’s neighbours to stabilise the country.

“This is a more limited initiative than what I think was required,” Bildt said.

Bildt was guarded on the US president’s plan to send more than 21,000 additional troops into Iraq.

“That’s a tactical military decision that foreign ministers in distant countries have a very limited chance of judging,” Bildt told Swedish news agency TT.