by S-Q @ 10:02 AM MDT
© 2007 Stephen Pitt
"With all due respect to the King, it's a mistake to characterise the US presence in Iraq as illegal," Bolton said in an interview with the US-based Arabic language Al-Hurra television station.
King Abdullah, a key ally of Washington in the Middle East, described the US occupation of Iraq as "illegitimate" at a meeting of Arab leaders last week in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
"In beloved Iraq, blood is being shed among brothers in the shadow of an illegitimate foreign occupation and ugly sectarianism threatens civil war," Abdullah said.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Saudi Arabia's US ambassador specifically to discuss the remark.
Bolton said the US was in Iraq at the invitation of its government and its presence was further sanctioned by a United Nations Security Council resolution.
"I hope he (King Abdullah) finds an opportunity to correct that remark in the very near future," Bolton said.
Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing