Blair wants to hear serious ideas
Photo: AFP

Blair: Serious ideas needed for Mideast success

Israeli, Palestinian ideas on solving toughest issues will be 'litmus test of seriousness', former British PM says

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on Israelis and Palestinians to bring serious proposals to a new round of peace talks set to start on September 2 in Washington.


Speaking at an Israeli academic conference on Tuesday, Blair said the sides' proposals for how to solve the decades-old conflict's thorniest issues will be a test of their seriousness.


"There will be no successful negotiations unless all the final status issues are on the table," he said. "Proposals on these issues will be a litmus test of seriousness."


Blair also told his audience that a Palestinian state need not jeopardize Israel's security.


"I think if Israel can receive real and effective guarantees about its security, then it is willing and ready to conclude the negotiation of a viable, independent Palestinian state," he said.


Blair was speaking at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya just north of Tel Aviv.


The former British PM has been assisting the US-led effort to restart peace talks as the special representative of the "Quartet" of Mideast peacemakers - the US, the UN, the European Union and Russia.


Since the new talks were announced last week, both sides have been laying out their starting positions, with Israel demanding security guarantees and the Palestinians rejecting any growth in Israel's West Bank settlements.



פרסום ראשון: 08.24.10, 17:19
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