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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2007, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Iraqi MPs tell Harry to stay away
Prince Harry
Prince Harry has long stated his desire to serve as an active officer
Senior figures in the Iraqi government have said Prince Harry should not serve in the country.

MPs from across the political spectrum told the BBC that the prince, who is due to go to Iraq in the next few weeks, would be a magnet for terrorism.

Shia figures said the prince would be attacked, while Sunnis feared him becoming a "target prize".

The Ministry of Defence has said his deployment with the Army is under constant review.

'At risk'

Shia MP Falah Shenshel, from political group the Sadr bloc, said: "Prince Harry, with all respect and dignity, must stay in his own country or he may expose himself to risk or any other thing.

"He has to respect the will of the Iraqi people, and the sovereignty and independence of Iraq and not reinforce the occupation."

Allaa Abdulrazzak, of the Sunni Tawafuq bloc, said Prince Harry should not come to the country as it could damage the royal family's future relationship with a new Iraq.

It has a potentially big strategic importance. I am not talking about the death but the capture and so on, and therefore these are very difficult issues
Home Secretary John Reid

If he stayed away, he would be able to say he did not participate in the Iraqi occupation, he added.

In February, Clarence House and the MoD confirmed the prince would be deployed to Iraq, saying he would take on a "normal troop commander's role" rather than a desk job.

The prince has long stated his wish to be in active service.

But concerns for his safety, and that of his soldiers, grew more intense after 11 UK troops were killed this month, one of the bloodiest since the conflict began.

On Sunday, the home secretary John Reid told the BBC it was up to the armed forces to decide where Prince Harry should be deployed.

But Mr Reid, a former defence secretary, told BBC One's AM programme: "When it comes to a prince, this is not just a matter of humanity or operational concerns.

"It has a potentially big strategic importance. I am not talking about the death but the capture and so on, and therefore these are very difficult issues.

"But it's right in my view that these decisions are made by the chiefs of our armed forces themselves."


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Iraqi MPs on why Harry should not serve in their country



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