News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqBlair urges world to engage Iran, Syria

Blair urges world to engage Iran, Syria


AP: British Prime Minister Tony Blair urged the international community on Monday to engage Iran and Syria to advance the peace process in the Middle East and defended his government’s close relationship with the U.S. Associated Press


Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) – British Prime Minister Tony Blair urged the international community on Monday to engage Iran and Syria to advance the peace process in the Middle East and defended his government’s close relationship with the U.S.

Blair said the outcome of the Iraq war was central to bringing peace to the Middle East, and the world must make clear to Syria and Iran how they can assist in the process as well as the consequences of hindering it. Blair was to deliver the remarks in a speech later Monday and excerpts of the text were released in advance by his office.

The United States has said it was willing to hold direct talks with Iran about Iraq – which would be the most public exchange between the countries in years. But the U.S. does not want to discuss broader subjects such as Iran’s contentious nuclear program which Washington suspects is aimed at making weapons.

President Bush’s chief of staff, Josh Bolten, said Sunday that the White House would consider U.S. talks with Syria and Iran if the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which is trying to develop a new course for the war, recommended that.

The U.S. and other Western nations have isolated Syria for more than a year. Washington wants Syria to stop its backing of Hezbollah in Lebanon, end support of Palestinian militants and help crack down on insurgents crossing the border into Iraq.

Blair’s address to the annual Lord Mayor’s banquet in London comes a day before he was scheduled to speak by video-link to the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan Washington commission trying to devise a new course for the war in Iraq. Blair has been President Bush’s staunchest ally in that war, a position that has cost him support at home.

Blair said forging bonds with nations that share Britain’s values is necessary for future security and the best foreign policy to pursue is one built on strong alliances.

“Our partnership with America and our membership of the (European Union) are precisely suited to Britain,” he said. “For that reason anti-Americanism or Euro-skepticism are not merely foolish – they are the surest route to the destruction of our true national interest.

“When people say, ‘Yes, but we want a British foreign policy,’ I say, ‘Of course we do, but in today’s world a foreign policy based on strong alliances is the only British policy which works,'” he said.

Britain has sent more troops to Iraq than any nation besides the U.S., and rising violence there – and a British death toll that on Sunday reached 125 – have heightened calls for a change of strategy.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Sunday that four British servicemen were killed in an attack on a patrol boat in Basra’s Shatt al-Arab waterway in southern Iraq. Three servicemen were wounded, the ministry said.

Blair has repeatedly said British troops will remain in Iraq until Iraqi forces can take responsibility for security.

Latest news

Grim Tidings for Iran’s Regime After Approval of UN Fact-Finding Mission

After many discussions and debates, the United Nations Human Rights Council has approved a fact-finding mission to investigate the...

Iranian People’s Resistance Changed the Appeasement Policy

Soon after the new US government started its obligations in January 2021, hand in hand with the European governments...

Khamenei’s Disgraceful Campaign Against Piranshahr and Javanrud, Who Will Be the Loser?

On the 67th day of Iran’s revolution, the Iranian regime attempted to put a halt to the protests in...

Iran: Expensive Medicine, Cheap Human Life

A look at the equipment and weapons that the Iranian regime has been using against its people to suppress...

Who Is Abolqasem Salavati Iran Regime’s Killer Judge?

Last week, it was announced that the case of several people who were arrested during the Iranian People's uprising...

Iran Revolution Characteristics

More than two months have passed since the start of the latest round of protests in Iran against the...

Must read

Nicaragua president to visit Iran in Gaddafi’s jet

Reuters: Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who has raised eyebrows...

Iran to start using own nuclear fuel plates

AFP: Iran is to insert its first domestically produced...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you