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Tutu withdraws from leadership summit

Desmond Tutu does not want to appear alongside former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Picture: Nathan Adams/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Tuesday withdrew from speaking at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit because he does not want to appear alongside former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The summit, set to get underway on Thursday, was due to feature speakers from across the world to discuss leadership.

Tutu, Blair and Chess master Garry Kasparov were set to address the summit.

The archbishop's office released a statement saying he spent days considering his decision, but that Blair's support of the war in Iraq was "morally indefensible".

Since agreeing to speak at the summit, Blair has been the centre of controversy among several Durban-based Muslim groups, who rallied for a citizen's arrest of the former prime minister.

One group, Al Jama-ah, said Blair was complicit in the murder of thousands of people in Iraq and should face war crime charges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.