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Last Updated: Monday, 15 December, 2003, 15:18 GMT
World reaction in quotes
Saddam in custody
The US waited to formally identify Saddam before announcing his capture
Reaction from Iraq and beyond to the capture of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein by US forces.

US President George Bush

The former dictator of Iraq will face the justice he denied to millions...

It marks the end of the road for him and all who bullied and killed in his name...

In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao

We hope that the latest development of the situation in Iraq is conducive to the Iraqi people taking their destiny into their own hands, and to realising peace and stability in Iraq.

Iranian Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi

Saddam should be prosecuted because of the crimes he has committed against the Iraqi and Iranian people.

Iranians have suffered a lot because of him and mass graves in Iraq prove the crimes he has committed against the Iraqi people. The... arrest of a criminal has made me very happy.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

The capture of Saddam Hussein provides a chance "to give fresh impetus to the search for peace and stability in Iraq".

Australian Prime Minister John Howard

Until he was finally killed or captured, there was always the fear he would come back. This will lift an enormous psychological burden off the Iraqi people.

We have caught Saddam... but the job is not yet done.

One of the very good things about what's happened is that it must have been as a result of very good human intelligence on the ground and that's a very good sign.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark

The New Zealand Government does not support the death penalty in any circumstances, nor does New Zealand legislation, and I won't make an exception, even for someone as gross as Saddam Hussein.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

He resulted in the death of an awful lot of Iraqi people and in the last analysis he seemed not terribly brave.

Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, head of Iraq's interim Governing Council

This is a big blow to terrorists in Iraq. It is a great day for humanity and the Iraqi people.

Iraqi interim Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari

This will be a turning point in the history of Iraq. It will help stabilise the situation and help the Iraqis to look forward to the future after this nightmare.

Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq

This success brings closure to the Iraqi people. Saddam Hussein will never return to a position of power from which he can punish, terrorise, intimidate and exploit the Iraqi people as the did for more than 35 years.

Adnan Pachachi, member of Iraq Governing Council

The state of fear, secret police and oppression is gone forever. The Iraqi people are very happy and we look forward to a future of national reconciliation between Iraqis in order to build the new and free Iraq, an Iraq of equality.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

Where his rule meant terror and division and brutality, let his capture bring about unity, reconciliation and peace between all the people of Iraq.

Saddam has gone from power, he won't be coming back. That Iraqi people now know and it is they who will decide his fate.

Kuwait Information Minister Mohammed Abulhassan

Thank God that he has been captured alive, so he can be tried for the heinous crimes he has committed.

Kuwait today feels more relaxed and assured after the departure of this tyrant and after all are certain now that he will never return. The Kuwaiti people are happy for the Iraqi people.

It is the end of the rule of tyranny... Saddam's capture is a turning point and an opportunity for Iraqis to unite.

Spokeswoman for French President Jacques Chirac

The president is delighted at the arrest of Saddam Hussein.

This is a major event which should strongly contribute to the democratisation and the stabilisation of Iraq, and allow the Iraqis to once more be masters of their destiny in a sovereign Iraq.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, in a message to US President George W Bush

It's with great delight that I learned of Saddam Hussein's capture. I congratulate you on this successful operation.

Saddam Hussein caused horrible suffering to his people and the region. I hope the capture will help the international community's effort to rebuild and stabilise Iraq.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov

We think the arrest of Saddam Hussein will contribute to the strengthening of security in Iraq and to the process of political regulation in the country with the active participation of the United Nations.

Polish Defence Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski

The coming days could be equally dangerous as these past days.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Today is a great day for the democratic world.

We are relieved that this murderer and dictator can no longer stand in the way of rebuilding the country he destroyed.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

The weapon of mass destruction has been found and now we can, and must, turn over a new page.

Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix

He ought to know quite a lot and be able to tell the story and we all want to get to the bottom of the barrel.

I'm sure the US will talk to him about that.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar

Saddam Hussein is the cause of all the poverty and suffering of the Iraqi people. Today, the moment has arrived for him to pay for his crimes.

Happily, today the main obstacle to peace, freedom and democracy in Iraq has disappeared.

Syrian Information Minister Ahmad al-Hassan

Syria's position on Iraq is not based on the fate of individuals. We want an Iraq that preserves its territorial integrity, its unity and its sovereignty.

Jordanian Government spokeswoman

The Jordanian Government hopes that a page has been turned and that the Iraqi people will be able to assume their responsibilities as soon as possible and build their future according to their will.

The first and last word concerning the capture of Saddam Hussein or his fate must be given to the Iraqi people.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher

I don't think anyone will be sad over Saddam Hussein.... His arrest does not change the fact that his regime was finished, and it is the natural consequence of the regime's fall.

The Iraqi regime had harmed the Iraqi people and had pulled the Arab region into several storms.

Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa

The capture of Saddam Hussein is long overdue. It is our hope that his capture will help speed up the process of reconciliation and the transition toward a democratic government of Iraq, where sovereignty is restored in the hands of the Iraqi people.

Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan

Saddam Hussein was a menace to the Arab world, and his reign of terror will be remembered for its brutality, aggression and oppression.

Hamid Elmi, deputy spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai

The government of Afghanistan welcomes the capture of Saddam Hussein, whose hands are stained with the blood of many innocent Iraqis.

The capture of Saddam Hussein is a warning to other terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Masood Khan

This is an important development... We hope that it will lead to peace and stability in Iraq.

Iraqi people have to decide how to move and what to do after the arrest of the former Iraqi strongman.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Morshed Khan

We hope this will pave the way for the Iraqi people to have a government of their own... a government by the people and for the people of Iraq.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda

I believe it is too optimistic to think that activities by the remnants of the Hussein regime and foreign terrorists, who have launched terrorist attacks in Iraq and elsewhere, would stop just because of his arrest,

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