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Friday, 13 September, 2002, 02:16 GMT 03:16 UK
Canada PM criticises 'arrogant' West
Jean Chretien and George W Bush
Jean Chretien has spoken bluntly to Mr Bush
The Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, has warned the US and other wealthy nations against "humiliating" poorer countries and said perceived Western arrogance had played a part in the 11 September attacks.

He said that the West was "getting too rich in relation to the poor world".


You know you cannot exercise your powers to the point of humiliation for the others

Jean Chretien

The BBC's Lee Carter, in Toronto, said Mr Chretien's remarks show widening policy differences between Canada and the United States.

Although a staunch ally in the aftermath of the attacks on New York and Washington, Mr Chretien is reported to have bluntly told President George W Bush last week that Canada would not support an attack on Iraq without a full UN mandate.

Mr Chretien said in a documentary filmed by Canadian broadcaster CBC that the West was "looked upon as being arrogant, self-satisfied and greedy and with no limits".

"11 September is an occasion for me to realise it even more," he said.

Financial power

"You know you cannot exercise your powers to the point of humiliation for the others.

"That is what the Western world - not only the Americans - has to realise. I do think that the Western world is getting too rich in relation to the poor world and this is silly."

He said he had implored leading figures in Wall Street against exercising their financial power at the expense of poor nations.

Anti-US protest in Bangkok
The West is often accused of greed
"When you are powerful like you are, you guys, this is the time to be nice," he said.

In the past year, Canada and the US have agreed to harmonise many aspects of border and airport security, refugee and immigration laws and to share intelligence information.

Our correspondent says that as Mr Chretien is the longest serving leader in the G8 group of countries and due to retire in 2004, it could be that he is more ready to show his true colours.

Canada broadly welcomed Mr Bush's keynote speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday in which he said the US would work with the Security Council to pressure Iraq to accept UN resolutions.

Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham said: "Our reaction is very positive... we consider that Iraqi compliance with UN resolutions is strictly a matter for the Security Council."

Canada is opposed to the United States taking action alone against Iraq, fearing it could seriously damage the United Nations.


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12 Sep 02 | Middle East
09 Sep 02 | Americas
22 Aug 02 | Americas
03 Jun 02 | Americas
31 May 02 | Americas
21 Jun 02 | Country profiles
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