LONDON, Aug 27 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said the Iraq invasion had subverted the fight against terrorism and instead strengthened al-Qaeda and the recruitment of terrorists, according to a British paper report on Sunday.
In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, Carter said that if he had still been president, he would never have considered invading Iraq in 2003.
"However, I wouldn't have excluded going into Afghanistan, because I think we had to strike at Al-Qaeda and its leadership," he said.
"But then, to a major degree, we abandoned the anti-terrorist effort and went almost unilaterally with the Great Britain into Iraq," he said.
"My own personal opinion is that the Iraqi people are not better off as a result of the invasion and people in America and the Great Britain are not safer," he added.
Carter, 81, was the 39th U.S. president, from 1977 to 1981, and the winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.
"We now have a situation where America is so unpopular overseas that even in countries like Egypt and Jordan, our approval ratings are less than five percent," he said, "It is a shameful and pitiful state of affairs." Enditem