Archbishop Tutu on Tuesday decided not to take part in the one-day Discovery Invest Leadership Summit, which is scheduled to be held on August 30, saying it would be “inappropriate” for him to share a platform with Blair, because of his “morally indefensible” support for the US-led war in Iraq.
“The archbishop is of the view that Mr. Blair’s decision to support the United States’ military invasion of Iraq, on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, was morally indefensible,” said Tutu’s spokesman, Roger Friedman.
Friedman also stated that the theme of the summit is leadership that could not be divided from morality.
“In this context, it would be inappropriate and untenable for the archbishop to share a platform with Mr. Blair.”
Tutu has been a prominent peace icon in South Africa, and he won the Noble Peace Prize in 1984 following his campaign against apartheid.
Meanwhile, the South African Muslim party, Al Jama-ah, welcomed Tutu’s decision, and said it will hold a demonstration against Blair’s participation in the summit.
“The demonstration is being held to support a warrant of arrest to charge him (Blair) for crimes against humanity relating to the invasion of Iraq, which led to the killings of millions of Iraqis,” said Ganief Hendricks, the president of Al Jama-ah.