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Rice Visits Northern England, Defends US Iraq Policy


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza is in Northern England where she and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw have conferred with Muslim community leaders in Straw's home city of Blackburn.

Hundreds of anti-war protesters demonstrated Saturday during the meeting in Blackburn. Protesters have followed Rice throughout her two-day visit to Britain.

During a news conference following the meeting, Rice continued to defend the U.S.-led war in Iraq, and said, despite mistakes, the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein was the right one.

In an interview Saturday with the British Broadcasting Company, Rice said "the birth of democracy is sometimes difficult."

Rice also visited the nearby town of Liverpool. The U.S. top diplomat is in Britain for two days at Straw's invitation following his visit to Rice's hometown last year.

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