LONDON - British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Saturday it is crucial to address terrorism's underlying causes, which he identified as deprivation, lack of democracy and ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
Thursday's bomb attacks on London demonstrate the pressing need for world leaders to tackle problems like poverty, he told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. He said leaders had taken on some of those issues at the G-8 summit of the world's wealthy nations in Scotland this week.
"I think this type of terrorism has very deep roots," Blair said. "As well as dealing with the consequences of this — trying to protect ourselves as much as any civil society can — you have to try to pull it up by its roots," he said.
That meant boosting understanding between people of difference religions, helping people in the Middle East see a path to democracy and easing the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, he said.
"Ultimately what we now know, if we didn't before, is that where there is extremism, fanaticism or acute and appalling forms of poverty in one continent, the consequences no longer stay fixed in that continent," Blair said.
Later, the Associated Press (AP) retracted sections of this report in which it falsely claimed that British Prime Minister Tony Blair blamed the July 7 London terrorist attacks on the Israeli - Palestinian conflict.