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POLITICS: Blair heads to US under growing pressure to shed "poodle" image

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posted on Nov, 11 2004 @ 12:07 AM
The first foreign leader to visit President Bush after his reelection will be British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Under pressure at home for his stance in the unpopular Iraq war, Blair will be looking to trade some of his political capital with the President. Failure to do so could impact his Labour Party in elections coming up next year and lead to further charges that he is a poodle. One of Blairs priorities is restarting the Middle East peace process and pushing the Kyoto accords which Bush has been refusing to adopt. LONDON, (AFP) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair was due to fly to Washington for talks with President George W. Bush under more pressure than ever to reap rewards for his support of the unpopular US-led war in Iraq.

When he eventually walks into the White House Friday as the first foreign leader to meet the re-elected president, Blair will cement a reputation as Bush's closest ally but risk further charges back home he is a US "poodle."

Keeping in mind his own Labour Party's prospects at elections expected early next year, analysts said, Blair will try to win a US determination to rescue the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks from four years of violence.

Blair's official spokesman told reporters earlier in the week that the government expects "a clear signal of intent" for reviving the peace process to emerge from the Washington summit.

"I will do everything I can to make sure that this peace process becomes reinvigorated," Blair told parliament on Monday, adding such efforts would be raised during his talks in Washington.

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Blair has been under a lot of flak for his support of the war. Judging by the comments heard here on ATS, it seems he is unpopular as ever. It will be interesting if his “political capital” to borrow a phrase from President Bush will help him with his agenda. Britain is the most important member of the coalition in Iraq. If they were to pull out due to a change in government the effect would be disastrous.

[edit on 11/11/04 by FredT]

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