Canada may cut aid to Iraq in response to the U.S. snub

U.S. President George W. Bush is grateful for help in the war on terrorism and is “working” to include Canada in lucrative rebuilding projects in Iraq, he said in a farewell phone call to retiring Prime Minister Jean Chr�tien.

“He thanked me for what we’re doing in Afghanistan and for the offer of money in the reconstruction of Iraq,” Chr�tien told a news conference today.

“As for the news in the newspapers stating that Canada would be excluded from economic activities in Iraq, the president assured me that this was not the case, and that he would be taking action,” Chr�tien said in French.

“And so I thanked him.

“We are still good friends.”

The United States announced this week that countries which did not support the U.S.-led war in Iraq last spring, including Canada, would not be allowed to bid on reconstruction contracts worth $18 billion.

But Chr�tien said Bush called today and “he was telling me basically not to worry.”

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