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So much for a crisis in the Israel-U.K. relationship.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking on a day his government moved to expel an Israeli diplomat over an alleged forged-passports case, wowed a gathering of Washington’s most powerful pro-Israel lobby by reaffirming his support for the Jewish state.
“I am always described as a friend of Israel. It is true,” Blair told the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “I am proud of it and tell you why.”
“Israel will not and can not agree to a Palestinian state unless it is sure the state will be securely and properly governed,” Blair said to thunderous applause. “I wouldn’t take risks with my country’s security; I don’t ask Israel to take risks with theirs.”
“I wouldn’t take risks with my country’s security;"
Baku – APA. Tony Blair called for "face-to-face," direct negotiations between the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority as soon as possible, APA reports quoting jta.org web-page.
But the former British prime minister, now the Quartet representative to the Middle East, emphasized in a speech to the AIPAC policy conference that "faith in peace" on both sides must be restored and must be done "patiently, and over time, on the ground."
"It can’t only be negotiated top down," said Blair, who was well received by the crowd. "It has also to be built bottom up" via a "reality created and sustained," he said, adding that "details matter" and are the difference between "paralysis and possibility."