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Clegg vows to restore UK reputation

Nick Clegg is due to acknowledge before the United Nations that Britain's reputation in the world needs restoring.

Addressing the UN general assembly in New York, the Deputy Prime Minister will say that the UK has learned "the hard way" that democracy "cannot be created by diktat".

His remarks are likely to be seen as a reference to the consequences of the invasion of Iraq, although he may not refer to the war directly.

"Britain will stand as a beacon of democracy, freedom and law," he will say.

"Many of the values that must be at the heart of a new global settlement are in our national DNA - tolerance, fairness, democracy, equality before the law.

"But our approach will also be hard-headed and realistic.

"In recent years, we have learned - sometimes the hard way - that democracy cannot be created by diktat. Freedom cannot be commanded into existence.

"The new coalition Government, now five months old, will restore Britain's international reputation by pursuing a hard-headed foreign policy based on liberal values."

Earlier this year, Mr Clegg described the 2003 invasion of Iraq as "illegal" in the House of Commons - a comment he was later forced to clarify was a personal opinion.

Aides said his comments to the UN, as he again stood in for Prime Minister David Cameron, were intended to convey a general point about international law.

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